I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time now. Online friendship has always been a topic of great interest for me. I have a guy friend who sent me a friend request. He was unknown to me though we had common friends. I accepted it and we started chatting, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. It’s been almost five years and we are still very good friends.
I know this is quite contrary to all the horror stories we hear about making friends online. Most of us have this notion in our heads that Online friendship = Danger (with a big red button)! And that’s fair reasoning, I guess, as we all have grown up one universal rule – Don’t talk to strangers, stranger is danger!
Online friendships are real
Are all strangers bad? What’s wrong with wanting to look for friends who are just like me on a public platform? Just because you can’t hang out with your friends you’ve made online and can’t grab coffee or beer with them, doesn’t make them “less real”. It’s mostly about the common interests and not proximity that defines friendships that we make on online platforms like Facebook, Skype, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
I made my first online friend almost a decade ago, it did feel weird then. At the time of meeting them, it felt nervous, but after so long now, I’ve come to realize that online friendships and real-life friendships are THE SAME. Both take time to grow and both depend upon communication and respect. Some will grow while some will fade out with time.
How to be friends online
Initiating friendship of any kind, in fact communicating first takes a little courage. You have to put yourself out there! And sometimes, when you reach out, and it doesn’t end up in friendship, then that’s completely OK. It’s not a red flag and it should not stop you from wanting to connect with a cool person eventually. So, Rule no #1: Don’t take everything personally.
What if it actually turns out bad?
I’m not going to lie to you, but sometimes it does. But isn’t that the reality of life and not just in case of online friends. Yes, I had made a few online friends in the past that fizzled out and didn’t end on a good note. But looking at the grand scheme of things, I have met some genuinely wonderful people who are worthy of the risk.
Who should be my online friend?
The internet is an amazing place to be, something I’ve talked about in my last post, https://blog.sagoon.com/top-5-reasons-why-we-need-internet-in-our-lives/. It brings you in contact with like-minded people and those who share common interests with you. It’s easy, fun and really helpful. But, then again it’s experience, that counts at the end of the day, the more you socialize online you keep on adding genuine friends to your bucket of all-around awesome friends.
We all seek different things from our friends at different stages in our lives, but the sense of realization that our friends are not defined by words like “real” and “internet” is the key to appreciate bonds that we create and friendships that’ll last a lifetime!
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