Online Friends Over Real-Life Ones?
We have all heard, seen or even experienced the event of meeting someone online, even if it’s a simple interaction that caused an impact on us, played a videogame together through those random teaming matches or commented on our Instagram post. With all the creations online it’s never been easier to meet people outside of our real-life reach. Meeting someone that lives on the other side of the world is not a rare thing nowadays and making a space for them in our everyday life has become even more part of the norm. An outsider perspective, someone from an absolutely different environment that doesn’t know anyone around you, it’s a breather, truly. An escape from all the drama, the chaos that real life sometimes may bring. The experience you feel with online friends in comparison to real-life ones may seem different but they are not, in the end, they fulfill the same purpose as you, to be a friend.
The pandemic and online interactions
A big step from our normal schedule to spend most of our time staring at a screen, either if it’s for work, entertainment or just to kill time, we’ve been limited to what we can do due to the current circumstances of the world and as we’ve sunk our feet deeper into the internet, our world has expanded. The comfort of relying on someone else that’s on the other side of the screen, possibly at any given moment, it’s truly soothing. Being able to trust someone fully with secrets from your everyday life or even just vent at them without causing any repercussions due to them not truly being in your area or within your social circle, facilitates being yourself. Not holding back, being careful not to spill any secrets or gossip that might harm the environment. And even the advantage of having more things in common as you might have met them within a common ground, a blog, a videogame or simply stumbled upon their social media profile.
There are many advantages to this, though, some boundaries should be kept due to privacy concerns and being careful not to overshare since we can’t be sure all the time that we are talking to the person they say they are via online, though, it could also be the case in real life as the phrasing stranger danger applies to both these worlds.
Real-life friends are worth it
There’s always someone we’ve known our entire life, someone that’s not related to us but feels like they are because they have always been there for us. There is a feeling that can’t be replaced or imitated when you have a connection strong enough to a real-life friend, one that no matter how much time you spend apart, how many days or even weeks go without speaking either face to face, on the phone or through text, there’s this feeling of home, knowing they’ll be there when we reach out or be there for them if they reach out. The opportunity to meet up with friends is truly great, chat and let yourself go for the moment you are together before everyone returns to their busy schedule, wind down from the hectic ways of life. Explaining your problems and them having an insider perspective, knowing what to say, how to help if they can at all. A special bond that can not be replaced unless the same amount of effort and time is given to someone else.
Even if there aren’t many things you have in common, it’s the history that created a bond, the way you two interact and process things, the way you just enjoy talking to one another and actively listen rather than just dump your burden on them, a healthy friendship that is truly worth putting in the effort. Let’s admit it, sometimes it is truly tiring to put in the effort into things when you see no instant result but with friendships, only time will be able to give a true answer to what you are looking for. Sometimes compatibility is not all there is to it but rather the specific events that tie your friendship together as the saying goes There’s friends for a season, friends for a reason and friends for life. So don’t be demotivated if a friendship you thought was going to be longer ended abruptly after a certain event, perhaps graduation moved jobs, moved places as not everyone you meet will remain in your life but some of them might.
Friends are friends, no matter the source
From drama to a bad internet connection, both types of friends have their pros and cons but you can’t be discouraged by having one more than the other or even one instead of the other.
Friends are meant to be a support system, a way of being yourself and having a special connection with, socializing and growing as a person through shared experiences or sharing your experience with them.
It doesn’t really matter where or how you met these people but rather the type of connection you have with them and your intentions. You only want to play video games with them? That’s fine. You want them to be in your life and for them to know more about you? That’s fine too. Just make sure you both are aware of each other’s intentions to avoid getting hurt within the process of developing this friendship as one might want a closer bond whilst the other only wants to spend time during specific moments and share limited information if any at all, a companion in other words.
As long as you are happy, there should be no issue with the ways you meet your new friends.