Last night as I was riding in the car to begin Christmas at my grandfather’s house, it occurred to me I hadn’t written in a couple days, so I decided to cover a subject that seemed doable without internet access, how appropriate huh? Either way, I haven’t read it through since I wrote it and I fell asleep shortly after finishing, so if it’s long, rambly, or even pointless, I apologize.
I’ve often wondered about these “Internet Relationships”; are they all doomed to failure? are they all fake? is there hope? where do we draw the line?A friend of mine brought this back into mind, I have many good friends that I don’t see in person anymore for various reasons. Some could be helped, others there really isn’t an option. But once again we’re forced to ask, where is the line? Yes, many things over the internet can be misinterpreted, in fact you can be a terrible liar and straight out lie on the internet and the other person not catch you. There’s a level of unintimacy that develops of the internet, alone with insincirity. We’ve all been there, you’re checking something or even talking to a good friend and all of a sudden “bleep” there’s that person again, instant eye roll. We force our selves to say “hi” “what’s up” (or the apparently acceptable “nm u?”), and hope against all hope that the conversation will die there. I can’t quite recall the last time I did that myself, but I have done it I’ll be honest. I hate that I did, but I did. In addition to that, there’s something else we all lose, honesty and defenition. I know for a fact I’m not the only one who does this, and I’m sure most of you probably do to, but we all have our ruotine goodbye rituals. Depending on the friend, your personality, their personality, how long it was since last time you saw them, any fight or disagreement the two of you have encountered recently, and the way you feel about them balanced against how they feel about you, the way you depart will be quite different.The following examples can be blended with each other to fit most friendships;The awkward side hug, the casual wave, a genuine smile, a glare, handshake, one of those hugs you don’t want to release, some sort of hand signal the two of you have worked out, secret hand shake, an out of the ordinary hug, a certain saying, a casual goodbye, farewell, see you _____, I’ll miss you, always remember ______, you’re awesome, just go, ect…..My elongated point is, over the internet, goodbye routines are changed, that certain spark of feeling for a friend you care about is lessened, and the realness is lost. Does that mean it’s not worth trying to keep up over the internet?In my most honest opinion, no. I couldn’t bear to lost some of the friendships I’m forced to keep up soley over the internet. Well, then what can we do? I’ve given you the problems, but now what? How do we work around all that? The best thing I can think of, is to treat each other as if it were in person. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person, and if there’s something you feel needs to be said in person, wait. Maybe you don’t know the next time you’ll see that person, if that’s the case, maybe the internet is as close as you can get. In that case, try video chat, sure it’s not the same, at all, I can imagine trying to keep up with my cousins via video chat, what fun would that be? Certain people the extent of your friendship is stuff you do together, if that’s the case, maybe you should stick to limited contact with them, just don’t say anything you wouldn’t in person. Also, remember the last time you were with that person, maybe it was a LONG time ago, if so, realize that they’ve changed since then, if it wasn’t that long ago, use it to predict what they actually mean, sarcasm can be dangerous if you don’t catch it.I’m one of those hopeless cases who believes a friendship can be kindeled or put to rest before starting, simply by the difference of saying “hello” or not. Another thing I’d use to look at internet friendships, is God. Ask Him, about your friendships, ask Him to help you define what the other person means. Ask Him to help you wager the intimacy of your friendships, and of course make sure you hold your relationship with Him above all else. Lastly, ask yourself, “If this person lived nearby, and I saw them as often as I do my other friends I hold at their level, where would they be in my intimacy ratio?”
Once again, some of my best friends I am forced to keep up with over solely the internet and I wouldn’t give up our only source of communication for anything, just sayin’.
Hope this has helped, in some way or form, or at least made you think.
Live long and prosper, Tori Lynn.