Today’s post comes from Jessica of Chaos and Love. She writes about how online relationships can evolve into real life friendships. I agree 100% probably because Jessica and I met online and this week we’re running around San Francisco together. Leave a comment and let us know if you have met your online bestie IRL.
My first “online friends” happened kind of by accident. I wasn’t really expecting to find lifelong friends on wedding message boards. I thought I was just finding sanctuary in a place where people didn’t mind if I talked all wedding, all the time. But wedding talk eventually gets old, even for brides, and you move on to other stuff. It starts with discussions of coffee creamer and somehow evolves into the sharing of deep, dark secrets.
Bonds of friendship are formed over common circumstance and shared interests, no? It’s exactly the same on the internet except you don’t see “online friends” every day or even once a month. Maybe you’ve known them for years but never set foot in the same state, let alone the same room. That doesn’t diminish the power of these relationships. Not for a minute.
I would argue these are the easiest friendships I’ve ever had. People you hang out with primarily on the internet seem to have a better understanding of the fact that sometimes a message goes unanswered for days. They get that there isn’t always time to have a long conversations so a quick hello on Facebook will do, that friends can’t always come first even if you really wish they could.
Someone once suggested to me that my online friendships weren’t real friends, but you know what? Shit gets really real over the internet, yo. It’s hard to hide your true self when 99% of your communication is in writing (short of being a complete cyber-weirdo, obviously). If you’re a jackass, people will find out.
Like “real life” friendships, “online friends” have their fair share of conflict. I mean, it’s not possible to like all the things about any one person all of the time. Tone is a little hard to judge over the interwebs and things are sometimes taken wrong or expressed in a harsher way than planned. But you work it out, just like in any other relationship.
So . . . the interesting thing about female friendships is that they can exist primarily over the internet and be every bit as strong as the ones you have in “real life”. These days, my very best friends are people who might once have been considered “online friends”. And that’s totally okay with me. Better than okay, actually.