The Thunderbeat

Don’t underestimate the value of online friendships

Leah Larson, Layout Editor

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Sometimes I wonder if it’s bad that I’ve never hugged my best friends. I’ve never been to their houses and we’ve never even been in the same room. As cold and distant as that sounds, “bad” is never a word I would use to describe our friendship.

I ask myself quite regularly how I got so lucky to find the friends I did. In the beginning, it was two simple things that brought us together: our shared love for a band and a passion for writing. Now, nearly three years later, we have an infinite number of inside jokes, stories no one else knows, and secrets kept only within the safety of our screens.

We’ve created this weird family who, despite having a rather untraditional origin story, have plenty of traditions. It’s not that I am in any way opposed to other methods of friendship, but I wouldn’t trade the connections I’ve made through the internet for anything else.

Talking online offers me the chance to think clearly about my responses, while also ensuring that I am honest with others and with myself. As someone who doesn’t always know the right way to express what needs to be said, it’s comforting to be part of a group of people who understand and who can listen patiently. The thing about the internet is that there is always someone willing to listen.

Opportunities to build new friendships are pretty much on the rise at all times. The idea of reaching out becomes less terrifying when there are thousands of people all searching to fill in the same gaps. If you love something, it is almost guaranteed that someone out there loves it too and before you know it, the list of things you have in common with them skyrocket.

Finding friends online makes it easier to surround yourself with those who have similar mindsets, which can allow you to feel safe enough to have the types of conversations needed to keep life’s worries under control. By being just a click away, online friends become a support system you can hold in your back pocket. Even if you never see them “in person”, you’ll find that an online relationship manages to be enough.

 

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Don’t underestimate the value of online friendships