The online world is getting bigger, wider and more accessible in many places around the world, and increasingly so for teenagers. Especially in this pandemic, humans have really scoured the web for school, hobbies, and hobbies while in quarantine and isolation. I know that I myself have tried many interesting activities and hobbies during this time, wanting to keep myself busy. The internet is probably used today for communications, and in fact most computer scientists now call it information and communication technology. So I’m here to give you the inside scoop on one of the most misunderstood and misunderstood aspects of the online world: friendships.
They are often remembered as creepy, resourceful monsters that prey on your information…have you heard of them? Yeah, most people did. But, while all of these statements are true in some cases and should definitely be watched, there is a completely different and positive side to meeting new people online. and sharing experiences through social media. Again, in quarantine, socializing was done almost entirely through the occasional text chat or video call.
For those struggling with social anxiety or awkwardness, it can be easier to build on those friendships with people you haven’t talked to in real life. However, for those who don’t chat much online and prefer in-person meetings, it’s a very different experience.
For many in 2020, the internet has been a haven for emotional, mental, and physical assistance (some of these video workouts are super helpful!). So let’s take a look at why these relationships are important and share how meeting people online has helped me gain so much knowledge and understanding.
The Internet is evolving as we know it.
While schools and workplaces were frequently visited in 2019 and before, there was much less desire for interaction once we arrived home in the afternoon. Usually it was time to take a breather and have our usual “me time”. This contrasts with the current situation where we spend most of our days staring at a screen, listening to ongoing lectures, lessons and meetings. Now, when the day is done, there are no more friends to visit and less fun to do with the family. Apart from the Internet, what else can we spend our time on and how can we increase our energy like before?
Most people get stuck on endless scrolling on TikTok, Instagram or other social media apps. Before 2020, this type of scrolling was not used out of necessity but out of boredom, and nowadays people tend to interact frequently with posts and shares. It is not just in response to the myriad events happening in the world, but the future that we are beginning to see unfold:
Climate change and global warming, civil rights, wars, sexism and so much more… Where can we all find out and speak powerfully about these issues with those our age?
Why are these friendships important?
For me, online friendships can be the most genuine. You always hear about the catfish story, but behind the scenes so many people have healthy and thriving online friendships (myself included) that contribute to our mental health. If on Twitter, Pinterest or even some more popular sites like Instagram, you don’t necessarily see the face or the body of these people. For some, it can eliminate tiny biases or exclusions, giving voice to people who have been ignored for so long.
Using hashtags and topic accounts, especially on Instagram, provides a safer place for friendships and connections made on topics; even movements. There are many LGBTQIA+ accounts and pages for community members to connect and discuss what’s important to them. These communities can truly be some of the most inclusive I have seen and open to so many perspectives – which I believe becomes increasingly important throughout the company’s continued growth and development.
Moreover, these groups and individual voices have reached nooks and crannies they may never have reached before – a clear example of this is the recent US election. I’m from Australia and I’m still in high school, but the sheer number of people stuck and clinging to the results of this election proves that as a generation we have bypassed the barriers of ocean, race, religion and more so by building such strong relationships online. We used our voices to initiate movements and create an effect that helped, in this case, achieve the results we may need for a positive future for us and generations to come.
How can they help us?
Almost 2 years ago I came across my friend online for the first time. We connected through fandoms and hobbies; we were both writers with a love for Marvel and so on…Through this we have developed a world of characters that are now set in the dystopian/fantasy world of our novel series. Considering she lives over 17 hours away by plane (yes, that far), I learned so much. I hadn’t realized how many slang words Aussies had until she replied to my messages with “??” What does this mean?” I also learned a lot about the culture, tradition and religion of Islam.
Moreover, our writing hobbies have taught me countless lessons and made my life so different from what it was before. I wonder what it would be like without those characters in my head. All of the characters represent different races, cultures, backgrounds and have grown into beings with diverse tastes and stories, and that’s something I’ll always be proud of and will always owe to my online friend. As a result of this, I met someone who understood my love of reading and creative writing of all kinds, and accepted that my way of expressing myself and conveying my messages is through art. creative writing.
My list of pros and cons!
— Meet people you wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise, learn about other cultures and traditions
– Get insight into topics you thought you’d never like
– An easier way to have a healthy friendship if anxiety is a struggle for you in person more than online!
— Someone you can count on to have the least prejudice about your appearance and/or your beliefs
– An escape for when things are tough in real life; Sometimes things get tough and drama happens, and provided your online friend is unaware of this, there are plenty of open topics to discuss and potentially distract you.
– It’s an eye opener when talking about a common interest with someone from a totally different point of view
– Possible exploitation, dangerous online environments if improper precautions are not taken (precautions may include: not sending images of you or your location, keeping the account page private, disabling location sharing and services , and always be careful when sharing personal information)
– Miss out on actual social chats (unless you know them well enough to call/voice chat)
— Different time zones, busy lifestyles that might mean moving away
— Potential ingenuity, lying about who they are and/or what they like
Online friends will almost always be stigmatized, for many reasons that are just as vital as some of the positive aspects of these relationships. However, it is important to stick to your intuition in all situations and consider every action you take. The internet has become more accessible and shinier as a technology, which also means more people to meet and more hate to experience. This sort of thing is inevitable, but if watched, the internet is truly worth more than the credit we give it, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.