In this constantly growing world of social media and technology, it can be said (arguably so) that more personally intimate relationships are dwindling. Recent years have given new meaning to the word “friends”. Some of the world’s top social networking sites are filled with people that have up to 500 or more “friends”, approximately 80% of which they don’t even know. Admittedly, some of those same people have never spoken to their supposed friends. This normally would leave one to believe these types of online relationships are meaningless, and our society is going down the tubes because of it.
Much to the contrary of the above stated facts, another group will tell you some of their most meaningful relationships were born online. I’m here to offer you some specific evidence from this particular group. Case and point, take me for example.
In 2003, I was taking a stab at my psychological horror writing genre again. (Cheesy pun intended.) I wasn’t getting much done in that respect because I was an irresponsible young person with no direction and many issues to add on to that. However, I still spent a great deal of time online dueling between my writing and graphic art. One night, my friend nudged me to go into a chat room (remember those?) with her because some amusing conversations were taking place. She was right, I was amused indeed. What I wasn’t quite aware of was the fact I was about to meet the love of my life. This man would many years later father my child, and despite our ups and downs, we would be very happy together.
Later on, I began to trust online friendships more and more. Years later, after meeting someone I later fell in love with, I met the best friend I have ever known. Yes, you guessed it…online. We had some shared interests and that’s how we initially clicked. Later on, I found out this person lived pretty close by and that only made our friendship stronger. What I didn’t know, was this person would later save my life.
So, are you convinced yet? If not, I’ll bring you to present day. My current situation is I’m now a budding writer, taking it seriously this time around. I came here to hone my skills and practice my craft. What I never knew was I’d meet a whole entire group of friends with like-minded interests, people I connect with on an almost spiritual level, people who have offered me support, kindness, and true friendship. These friendships have not been matched with the ones in my everyday life. I’ve often told some of these friends I love them, and they’ve returned the sentiment. They share my work with their friends and the world and they tell me to keep going…something I desperately need to hear at this time in my life.
Can online friendships/relationships really work and be mutually beneficial? In some cases, the evidence would point to no. Although, I’m here to tell you for some people, the answer is most certainly a big, warm yes.
Love this post? Go check out my pal Kozo’s post Friends and Enemies: The Maleable Keys to Peace as we seem to have been on the same page this week. (This is, I believe the 3rd time myself and one of my blogging buddies posted about almost the same topic. Sometimes, I think we read each other’s minds…)