Picture this. The year is 2016, an 18 year old Emily decided to hop onto WordPress and write a blog. Now the year is 2018 and somehow shes kept it going. And has managed to make some friends along the way. And this is a shoutout to those online friendships. The friendships which started out as a couple of tweet and have progressed to a couple of coffee dates. The friendships which started purely online, on the same platforms you use for finding out if everyone else’s Instagram and where you can choose you’re relationships or hook-up by a left or right swipe. But have moved offline, out of this social media society we’re in and becomes a real and raw friendship.
Making friends online has always left me in two minds. In one ear I’m hearing endless teachers and parents whispering in my ear to be cautious when talking to people online. *stranger danger* and all that. But in the other ear I’m hearing that it’s okay to consider what essentially is an avatar and username at that point, a friend.
And to be completely honest, during all this I’m happily tapping away to strangers on the Internet most days anyway. And I think I can tell when I’m talking to an actual person instead of Neil, aged 47, sat in his shed pretending to be a 18 year old girl. I’d like to think I have some common sense. But the reality is, it’s not that deep, so long as you aren’t silly about it. And I love the fact that our 280 character conversations of getting to know eachother can lead to coffee dates and long old facetime chats.
You see, I’m a very feeble friend. Usually 20 minutes late and will always go to reply to your text, but then completely forget what she’s doing and go make a cuppa instead. So a hot mess basically. I’m also a very quiet person naturally. I am that girl in the ‘when we meet and when you get to know me’ memes. I wouldn’t call it insecure or not confident, just reserved. Just get a couple of drinks down me and we’re good to go. But my virtual personality is anything I want it to be. Obvs not Neil aged 47. But a witty, confident Em that if you were to meet me in my A level sociology class, you wouldn’t see.
Speaking of A levels. From the years of 2014 to 2018 I’ve had a very select group of friends. Most of which were outside of college, which isn’t as depressing as it sounds. I was just a bit judgey. I also became very ill within the first 5 months of my A levels which left me missing out on a lot and being seen as a recluse. But when I logged onto Twitter to join in on the twitter chat of the evening, cuppa in hand. I could press the refresh button on myself and be inclusive and sociable. It is crazy that we can put whatever we want out there. Whether it’s our whole lives or just a taste. You can watch people grow, travel the world, have a breakdown right before your eyes. And you become invested in someones life and well being so quickly.
And isn’t it just great when someone gets you. Whether it be an emotional sense or a creative sense. The fact that I have people I can create content with and try new things and brainstorm with and call them my pal and tell them about my anxiety and personal life is freaking amazing.
And although I will always have a very special place in my heart for those friendships that have seen me through the school years and weird unicorn obsession stage. There’s this beauty to finding yourself in a realm with people who share the same interests as you. Talking about what you’re passionate about and listening to other people talk about their passions sets off a spark. And this mutual connection is born and it’s bloomin’ wonderful. And it’s all thanks to the internet that we have these people surrounding us. Whether it’s still virtually or has become physically as well. Sharing interests, whether it’s blogging or knitting socks for dogs, and then cheering eachother on as we go.
So I just want to conclude with saying you’ve still got to be smart. We don’t want any catfishing situations here. But creating friendships on the internet has moved from a very outcast blemish, to being very mainstream. Obviously with any online community it’s not all daises. It’s definitely like a real life mean girls at times, but just keep out of the drama and practice what you preach and you’ll be fine. And I feel very lucky to have some beautiful people inside and out supporting me all thanks to the blogging community.