I have for sometime debunked the viewpoint that any relationships established on the internet are not real. I mean, are internet relationships really real? Recently I was vehemently challenged on this by my 14 year old daughter, Karly. So I asked her to put her point of view, in writing and if she could do it in a way that was convincing, I would print her view as a blog. She did so extremely well and so I am proud to share it. Here it is.
Internet relationships are now a more popular thing that has evolved through social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and even a few other different apps and websites. For me, Instagram is the place I have made most of my online friendships.
The overall purpose for this piece is that my Dad wanted me to write this on why I think that my Internet relationships are meaningful. His standpoint is that they are not, and I disagree 101%.
So, to help my argument, I posted something on my Instagram page asking my followers for responses on why they think their online relationships are so important in their lives and here are some of the responses: (Dad’s Note: I have edited the @ addresses so they are not real).
@soph: Its easier to talk to people over the internet because they share common interests with you so you won’t feel judged for liking what you like, and its easier to talk about your feelings because you cant stutter online.
@lovefin: it teaches you to be friends with someone purely based on personality it’s not based off of looks or anything but the who the person is as a whole
@punk: internet friends are always there for you no matter what. Internet friends have tons of things in common with you, that’s why they become your friend in the first place. I feel closer to my Internet friends than my real life friends.
@hig: It’s amazing how nice they can be! You can truly be yourself and show your real you to that person and your followers, it’s so much easier to connect with them! They actually understand what you’re feeling and it’s great to have someone be there for you. (Let alone thousands.) <3
@coek: The Internet allows you to meet types of people and communicate to those who can’t when you walk outside, an internet friendship can be very meaningful by the way you share things to the person you’re mutual with. Usually Internet friends are best when you’re similar to one another, because then your advise to them might be more powerful and understanding for you.
@blac: I met my boyfriend on the Internet and some great friends. It allows you to connect with people that you have so much in common with, but would not have the chance to meet any other way. It is so lovely to find people that you connect with that aren’t in person.
@bas: Internet friends understand what it’s like to be a little/lot different than the people in the town you live in without being with you. They get the band obsessions. You can tell an internet friend anything because it’s not like they’ll spread rumors or gossip about it and it’s so heart warming to know someone in a totally different place than you cares and will be there for you, I think Internet friends are the most loyal.
@gvn: Internet friends are like the best friends I’ve never had! I can talk to them for ages and completely be myself. If I were upset they’d understand, sometimes even without going through the same stuff. We’re just like this giant community. I’m really grateful towards the people I’ve met online because they’re just genuinely nice to me, and everyone without even meeting them in person and I find that very special? Also, most of them have similar interests and music taste so that’s good. ;D
Internet friends may seem dangerous to many people, but once you Skype, Oovoo, and even talk to their parents, its obvious that they are not dangerous.
Even myself, I have met some of my Internet friends and it’s been the best experiences of my life. All over the app, ‘Vine’ there are videos of Internet friends running and hugging each other when they meet for the first time. It is a truly, a magical thing, meeting someone that you have talked via technology for the first time.
I am a strong believer that Internet relationships are meaningful. Some of my Internet friends are the best people I have EVER talked too. They make me happy, make me feel better when I am sad, help me with problems, and we can talk just like in person.
The definition of “relationship” go as followed, according to google.com:
“the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”
What difference does it make making a friend through a screen or in person? From one aspect, you are actually LIMITED from meeting people out on the street. On social media, there are millions of people. You are connected through a phone, through a laptop, through wi-fi, through data.
To me, a relationship is NOT about if you see that person everyday. It’s about how they make you feel and if they’re there for you. For me, Internet friends always are. You make them on a social media that you love, you find people who contact you because they read that you have the same favorite band, the same favorite place… Whatever… and you make that bond.
I can recall multiple instances where my Internet friends have made me laugh so hard I’ve cried, where they’ve made me so happy my heart could actually burst, where I’ve felt so loved that I smiled for three hours straight.
People on the Internet are just far away, that’s all. It makes absolutely no difference if you meet them in person or not. Now THAT is a beautiful thing.
For me, this was a unique insight as how our youth thinks and acts with each other. I don’t necessarily agree that this fits with everyone, but it is an indication of how our youth may form and maintain their relationships in the future.
Relationship building and engagement is changing and evolving as our digital world changes and evolves. And as with our ever evolving technology, we need to be in tune with how this will affect our personal and business lives, now and in the future.