Internet Friends Are Real Friends, Too

Internet Friends Are Real Friends, Too

I just want my friends all together in one place.

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Some people believe that in order to truly be friends with someone, you have to know them in real life. This couldn't be further from the truth! Some of my best friends are people I've found on social media.

Of course, as any overly-concerned parent or middle school teacher would tell you, you have to be careful. It is indeed much harder to trust people online, especially at first. If someone refuses to prove their identity to you, get out immediately! However, if someone does prove themselves, and you two become close and talk regularly, who's to say you're not friends?

Sometimes, it's even easier to seek out friendships online. For example, someone with anxiety in real-life scenarios may prefer to seek out companions on Twitter. Or, someone may want to befriend that fan page of their favorite band, so they have someone to talk to about an interest.

When I was a shy and lonely 13-year-old, my absolute best friends were some fellow preteen "Hunger Games" fans on Instagram, some of which I still remain close to today. I've also never met anyone in real life who has the same passion for the video game "Harvest Moon" as I do, but thanks to Twitter and Discord, I've found some great friends online.

I've recently been able to meet some of my internet friends, such as the one pictured in this article, and I have plans to meet others. Some of them I may not be able to meet soon, especially those that live in other countries, but that doesn't make them any less of a friend.

Rather than focusing on the dangers of the internet, we should focus on the wonders of it, too. We should encourage people to be careful, rather than encouraging people to avoid internet relationships entirely. Obviously, social media and internet-based friendships are not for everyone, but a lot of us do enjoy having them, and there is no shame in that.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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