7 Lessons You Get From Having Online Friends
1 Distance means nothing if the friendship is real.
It's hard enough being in a different school as your bestie, so you can just imagine how much worse it is when you have oceans between you and your friends. And as much as we'd all love to teleport to each other, we should still be thankful for these obstacles. Because without these miles, we would never know just how strong the bonds of our online-cultivated relationships really are.
2 You are not alone.
Bad days suck. And though we'd rather not drag anyone into our sadness, misery loves company and often, ours get a little too needy. So we have our Internet friends to thank for always selflessly offering themselves as chaperones during these times of difficulties, even if it means having to pretend that our nighttime blues doesn't interfere with their early morning schedule.
3 Your way of thinking is not the only way of thinking.
"The world is a book. And those who do not travel, only read one page." This famous quote by Saint Augustine may seem like it only refers to those jetsetting and hopping on cruises. But in reality, it also pertains to those of us who are mentally trapped in one place and therefore are unable to see from different perspectives. Having tunnel vision definitely isn't healthy, but if your online friends can get you to follow them on different social media platforms, they can also lead you out of this seemingly infinite and dark subway.
4 There's more to a person that what meets the eye.
Let's face it. Sometimes, people in our social circle can be really shallow. They base your worth and value on the way you dress or other physical attributes. But the beauty of having a close-knit set of online friends is that your friendships are completely void of judgement. You learn to be drawn by someone's personality over their appearance, and that aids you to create long-lasting and firmly-grounded relationships in other socializing scenarios.
5 You can be close to someone without actually being near them.
Although "Twitter mutuals" weren't a thing yet back in the '50s, my grandmother had her own version of a friend she held close to her heart, but never got to hold in person. He was a Japanese soldier, and he was her favorite penpal. They talked constantly and learned everything about each other– they were like two peas in a pod. This just goes to show that sometimes, you don't need to touch to feel the undeniable connection with someone.
6 The world is huge.
"Sonder" is the word that describes the profound realization that each random passerby you briefly come across has a life as complex and exciteable as yours. And it is also one of the many gifts that an online friends gives you. Once upon a time, you knew nothing about the person on the other end of the screen, but now you memorize their secrets and stories like the back of your hand. They open your eyes to the bigger picture that you would've never seen without their lenses.
7 It's okay to be different.
As teenagers, we are often tempted to compromise our big personalities for the benefit of small minds who can't comprehend it. But having online friends will teach you otherwise–be proud of your unique and unorthodox attributes because this is exactly what makes you, you. So if you ever feel like your quirky self isn't good enough, just remember that out of the 7 billion people in the world they could've possibly chosen to befriend, it was your ''Follow'' button that they clicked.