This piece has been a long time coming, and I will try to keep it brief.
I have written several pieces in the past that mentioned friends that I have gotten to know through Twitter and then met at a concert, such as my friends Bethany and Liana. I know that having internet friends is somewhat more commonplace these days, but still, people will often find it a bit sketchy when I mention that I met friends on the internet. Therefore, this piece will explain how these friendships come about and how meaningful they can be.
I first befriended these girls by following them on Twitter, since we were part of the same fandom(s). We would start tweeting back and forth about the band and ultimately just started to direct message (DM) each other regularly. All of the different social media platforms available nowadays make it so easy to build and maintain these friendships, since the friend usually lives in another state or even another country, and you likely will not be seeing them in person any time soon. Yes, the primary reason for the sketchy reaction is the uncertainty of the internet, as with Catfishing and predators. Of course, that is always a possible danger when using the internet, of which I and my friends are well aware and cautious. However, we video chat with each other and say hi to parents, etc., and go through other such appropriate measures to ensure that we are communicating with a genuine person.
These long-distance internet friendships are meaningful in ways beyond those of the typical school/nearby best-friendships. You can talk to both types of friends about anything, but something about the internet element often makes it feel easier to open up about personal issues and internal struggles, and your friend will be so understanding and comforting about them. Internet friends are always there for you, judgment-free and always support you and your dreams no matter what, even if they are 2,000 miles away. These friendships are especially important to those who do not have many, if any, close friends from home; their internet friends allow them to have social interactions with people that they trust and who accept them wholeheartedly.
Personally, I have made a best friend through Twitter, and her name is Jordan. We have known each other for about a year and a half now, and it is honestly difficult to remember a time before her because she has become that significant in my life. She lives more than 2,000 miles across the country in California, yet we know everything that is happening in each other's lives just as my best friends at home do, if not more. She and I have stayed up many a late night video chatting, having "YouTube dates," or simply texting until I doze off and sleepily send keyboard gibberish. We have even had our share of battles, including one very tough and emotional conflict that had me in tears over the thought of the friendship ending. However, we have worked through our disagreements and have learned from each of them to develop a stronger and healthier friendship that I treasure beyond what words can express. The fact that our purely digital long-distance friendship has lasted this long compared to others that we have had is pretty remarkable.
Jordan and I have yet to meet in person, but we know that one day it will absolutely happen. Until then, we look forward to that moment when we remind each other every day how much we appreciate each other, whether in a short and sweet good morning message or a lengthy paragraph that gets us in our feels. Without the internet, I never would have come to know such an incredible soul, let alone get to call her my best friend.