Today someone said to me ‘Internet friends are not real friends. They can’t be there for you. They don’t count.’
I beg to differ.
These last few weeks have been absolute crap for me. I must admit that the only positive thing that has happened in the last couple of months has been that I now have the most wonderful and loving Boyfriend a girl could ever ask for. However, I digress.
So it’s been a tough few months. Relationships with my family have been precarious, my financial situation, darn right scary at some points and on top of it all I’ve had to deal with a lot of difficult situations for a number of things. It has been relentless and as soon as one thing has been sorted, another seems to spiral out of control.
I have never been an advocate of ‘Internet chat rooms’ where mindless conversation takes place between strangers. However, I do feel that in today’s society, where the entire world can be connected through the internet, there is certainly a time and place for having ‘friends’ on the web.
The dictionary definition for a friend is a long one, but it states.
a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
a member of the same nation, party, etc.
( initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
–verb (used with object)
Rare . to befriend.
make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.’
Now surely one can easily see that there are people who fall into that category on the internet.
Take me for example. I am part of a group on a website, we share three common interests. Knitting, Harry Potter and Ravenclaw. This is extremely simplified as we share many other interests too. However, my point remains. During said rough patch that I spoke of before, and to be honest I am still going through now, not only were the members of this community there for me, offering me advice, support and friendship. But they even went so far as to offer to send me things. Tights being the perfect example, something small, relatively inexpensive to them, but worth their weight in gold to me.
Recipes for frugal cooking, because having to live on £5 a week for food is damn near impossible otherwise.
Advice on dealing with water companies and banks and life in general. Being there to hear my rants and offer a shoulder to lean on when times got tough with family relations.
As for my ‘real’ friends? I haven’t seen them since June, and none of them have taken it upon themselves to try get in contact. Hell, they pretty much forgot my birthday, so you know, apparently I’m no loss there.
Friends you make in life can come in many different forms. People whom I have never met in person, but seem to know like we have been friends forever. People who live in America, or Germany, or somewhere else that I am probably never going to live.
These are the people that truly care. Just because they are on the internet, doesn’t mean they matter any less to me than people I know in person.
In fact they somehow matter more, because they know the true you. The you who isn’t restrained by society or family or expectations. The you who speaks her mind freely, without fear of the consequences. People who still like you, regardless of all this, and do not judge.
If that is not a friend, then I don’t know what is.
So thank you to all my internet friends around the world. You all know who you are. Each and every one of you is a very special individual.