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e-Buddies Troubleshooting

Below are suggestions and protocols to take if you are having trouble with your e-Buddies friendship.

Just like any friendship, your e-Buddies friendship may have some trouble from time to time. If at any point, your e-Buddies friendship is not developing as you had hoped, or if you have concerns, please contact an e-Buddies staff member. e-Buddies staff are here to help make your e-Buddies friendship the best that it can be.

The e-Buddies commitment is to e-mail once a week. If weekly communication stops between e-Buddies, the friendship is considered to have a "match problem." The e-Buddies E-mail System notifies staff when there is a match problem for matches made after July 1st, 2002. For matches made before July 1st, 2002, participants must inform e-Buddies staff of problems. e-Buddies staff work hard to solve all match problems.

Resolving Match Problems

Below is what happens when a break in communication occurs between e-Buddies.

  1. The e-Buddies E-mail System will send automatic reminders to both e-Buddies each week, reminding them to send an e-mail.
  2. Staff will review each match problem and determine the cause of the problem. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as a wrong e-mail address.
  3. Staff will reach out to the e-Buddy that is not e-mailing and may also contact his/her parent, group contact, or references.
  4. If regular e-mail communication does not resume, e-Buddies staff will end the match. The person who was maintaining the commitment will be asked if he/she wants to be matched in a new e-Buddies friendship.

Common Problem Areas

Situations might arise in your e-Buddies friendship that cause you concern. Below are some of the most common examples with tips on how to handle them. Please remember that you can always contact e-Buddies staff for additional guidance and resources.

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy is not responding to your e-mails.
RESPONSE: If your e-Buddy is not responding to your e-mails, it is important that you continue to e-mail him/her once per week. He/she may not be responding because he/she does not have access to e-mail. Notify e-Buddies staff and they will look into the problem.

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy uses vulgar language or shares off-color jokes.
RESPONSE: You and your e-Buddy should define the tone and boundaries of your communication. If your e-Buddy is using language or sharing jokes that you find offensive, tell him/her that you would prefer he/she did not do that. Be up front with your e-Buddy when you are uncomfortable.

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy sends e-mails that are very religious or political in nature.
RESPONSE: If you are uncomfortable receiving e-mails that have religious or political messages, tell your e-Buddy. Be up front with your e-Buddy about the topics that make you uncomfortable.

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy asks you questions that you are not comfortable answering.
RESPONSE: There is no rule for the amount or type of information that you need to share with your e-Buddy. It is up to you and your e-Buddy to decide how much information you want to share about yourself. You should take your friendship at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. If your e-Buddy asks questions that you are not comfortable responding to, reply to your e-Buddy that you are not ready to discuss that information at this point. You should not share your phone number, mailing address or personal e-mail address with your e-Buddy.

It is extremely important if you are ever uncomfortable with the information that your e-Buddy is discussing that you do the following:

  • Set the tone for your e-mail correspondence through your own e-mails
  • Establish boundaries
  • Follow your comfort level
  • Be up front with your e-Buddy about what makes you uncomfortable and then be consistent & persistent in following through
  • If you are ever uncomfortable, contact an e-Buddies staff person immediately.

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy does not tell you a lot about him/herself.
RESPONSE: Some friendships develop more slowly than others. Your e-Buddy might not feel comfortable sharing a lot of personal information at this point. Here are some things that you can do to help make him/her feel more comfortable:

  • Ask questions about your e-Buddy's interests
  • Discuss the topics that your e-Buddy is comfortable discussing

SITUATION: Your e-Buddy does not e-mail as often as you would like.
RESPONSE: If you are receiving e-mails from your e-Buddy once per week, your e-Buddy is meeting the commitment required by e-Buddies. If you would like to hear from your e-Buddy more often, discuss it with him/her. You and your e-Buddy can decide together if you will e-mail each other more often than once per week.


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