Internet Friends


Melody Lui, Campus Focus Editor

Internet friends get a bad reputation. What can a stranger you met online provide that someone you met in the real world can’t? And that answer varies per person. But to me, the internet has created a platform for some of the most memorable moments and connections of my life. 

You don’t need a big following or audience to engage with people online. Most connections are formed from similarities, including mutual interests or a mutual follower. But before the relationship forms, trust must be established between both parties. From my experience, trust can be gained from the most simple and genuine connections. If someone adds to a joke you’ve tweeted out or is interested in tutoring you with your math homework, this could signal a potential bond.

Of course, there will also be those who take advantage of this system. So being wary of your personal information and whom you expose yourself to is important internet safety etiquette. There are also way more people who are just using social media to express their interests like you are, rather than those trying to get information out of you. Remembering to keep your guard up will help ward off any unwanted interactions. Using the ‘mutuals’ feature on most social media sites will also help to identify whether someone is familiar or not. Many, if not all, social media platforms will have a privacy setting available that will protect your account from those not following you. This feature will allow you to pick and choose whom you would like to see your content, keeping you safe from those looking for easy targets.

Friends from the internet already have the same interests as you do. That’s an easy way to keep and maintain friendships. Whether it be games, content creators, or art, you will always have something to talk about as long as you continue to be in that community. When a new episode or update releases, there will always be someone who will rave about it with you. Along the way, you can also figure out if you have any other common interests which could develop the friendship even further. 

And oftentimes, because these friendships sprouted on the internet, you won’t be worried about them judging you for your past. As your life goes by, you will have created new memories and friendships with someone who may be from across the world. This contrast of interests and differences in cultures and society will always be a great conversation starter. 

At times, conversations on the internet have made me laugh just as hard as conversations with people off the internet. There’s also no shame in asking for advice on a difficult situation or just someone to listen to what’s going on in your mind. Especially because social media accounts are one’s own, you can control what you want and don’t want to see on your account. If anything makes you uncomfortable, you have the absolute right to leave or set boundaries for yourself. This also goes the other way; don’t forget that the internet is full of people who have thoughts and emotions just as you do. 

There’s going to be hesitation to those on the internet, especially because you don’t know who could be out to get you. But it’s also nice to know that there are people out there who also enjoy your niche pastimes. Getting to know people from different locations will broaden your perspective on the world and learn from the different cultures even within a country.


Graphic courtesy of PIXABAY.COM