The Beauty of Online Friendships

We’ve all been told from a young age that we should be careful on the internet. The majority of us were likely taught at some point about the dangers of interacting with strangers online and sharing information with those we meet over social media. Despite the warnings that are often given on the subject, internet relationships are still very much thriving, and are in fact more in bloom than ever. Nowadays, online networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, continue to be effective places for actively bringing people from all over the world together. So if interacting via social outlets is such a strong kick-start to real bonds, is it really such a bad thing?

I personally own a handful of social network accounts, Facebook and Twitter being the ones I use most commonly. By using social platforms, I’m able to converse with other users and have even been able to develop quite a few online connections. This doesn’t mean that I’m choosing to just throw my private information out there, but it’s nice to have an available gateway to find others who share my interests.

When it comes to seeking individuals with passions similar to my own, I’m more than grateful for the power of social media. For instance, I’m a fan of certain musicians and bands that my friends in real life aren’t avid supporters of. As I’m sure many people can understand, it’s rather difficult to express your passions with those who aren’t in the same boat as you, and I believe this is definitely a reason why online interaction is so appealing. Social media easily connects us with countless other people, people who have a great range of experiences and hobbies. This gives all of us vast opportunities to share our love and enthusiasm with others who have a better chance at truly understanding our situations. Relating to each other through common interests is an efficient stepping stone to the friendship that naturally follows.

Photo by Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos
Photo by Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos

Unfortunately, I know from first-hand experience that internet relationships get bashed on a lot, but despite some contrary belief, online friends really can be worthwhile! A lot of people view internet friendships as fake, weak, and easily breakable, while in reality they have the potential to be as strong as the real life bonds we develop at work or school. Regardless of whether they are physically present, our genuine friends are there for us. They listen to our opinions, respect our wishes, and are willing to lend a helping hand whenever needed. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the number of times I came home after a bad day and my internet friends were there to cheer me up. As long as they prove their faithfulness and dependability, there’s little reason why distance or a screen should determine the legitimacy of a relationship.

In some situations, online friendships are given enough time and effort to evolve into something more. It’s not unusual for people to set up meetings in real life with people they met over the internet. These encounters come with risks, of course, but they’ve also been the cause for some immense happiness. Finally being able to meet

that person who has stuck by your side is a wonderful and loving experience, especially if their true persona reflects the one you got to know online.

Because I’ve had personal experiences much like this, I can definitely vouch for the amazing things that are able to come out of online relationships.

In one case, I decided to meet my friend at a mall on Boxing Day (choosing public locations is always a good move, especially if they’re busy places) after months of communicating with her via Twitter. I’m usually a shy person during first meetings, but because I had gotten to know her prior to our meet-up, I felt that I was already emotionally close to her, enabling us to click in real life just as well as we had done online. The hangout was free from awkward silences and uncomfortable situations, and everything flowed easily. It felt just like I was with any of my school friends.

No matter how negatively depicted internet friendships are, the truth is that they can hold incredible significance. The mutual care and devotion in online bonds come with the same love as real life relationships.

It’s clear that the luxury of being able to chat with people from all across the globe is awesome, but it’s also a smart idea to keep a few things in mind in order to use our online doorways safely.

One thing that’s important to remember is that hiding anonymously behind a screen is all too easy with modern day technology. People are able to craft false identities and phony accounts for themselves with only several clicks of a button. It’s effortless to whip up inaccurate information, and just because someone may seem friendly online at first doesn’t always mean that they are who they say they are. We should always stop and think over the things we choose to talk to them about, because although they may turn out to be exactly who we thought they were, the opposite is also possible. That is why trust should be slowly and carefully built up.

With the extensive masks that the internet provides its users, it’s also not hard for people to be misled. If you ever feel uncomfortable or threatened with people you interact with via social media, then this is not a friendship, much less a healthy one. When you feel this way, the ability of knowing when to severe the connection and seek help if the situation escalates is invaluable.

In conclusion, friendships formed over the internet can be beautiful things. The world is full of wonderful people, and the internet makes it that much easier to bring those people into our lives. If we take appropriate precautions, the online community is an overall splendid place to explore and meet new people.

And who knows? Maybe those people are just what you need.

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