Is it acceptable to take the day off and head to a funeral; a funeral of a person who you typed to regularly?
Society dismisses the relationship that one can have over a laptop or phone. It sounds pathetic; you think of a loner trapped in their room or a meaningless fling like going on a date and then being ‘ghosted’.
But as we spend more and more time building virtual connections, should we now evaluate how much we appreciate online friends?
They take the most interest in our lives. Who else is going to care so deeply that you woke up and tried the new Starbucks coffee or that you have empty beauty products stashed in your drawer?
They can be attentive; the first to applaud your updates and life changes.
My friends take no interest in social-media or blogging. A best friend of mine actually admitted that he found an increase in respect of these platforms, after seeing how they affected me.
And neither do my friends care for all the lifestyle passions that I am absorbed in.
They say that the internet is to blame for insecurity, loneliness, depression, our lack of confidence meeting others and spending time outside. As the millennial generation have grown up with the boom of Instagram and Facebook, we hold the grunt for these perceived side-effects.
Not to mention that selfies make us self-obsessed and inconsiderate. I wonder what made that middle-aged man not say thank you when I held open the door.
I get that everything is not perfect. There is bad bubbling in the midst of good and so I see the failures of social-media and online living.
I hate the shock-factor, the fact that people are becoming ‘celebrities’ by filming something outrageous or looking like a cartoon character in Space Jam. Just walking among us as animation – and nobody bats an eye.
It spews desperation to be seen. We somehow crave idolism and fortune is no longer enough. You now have rich people doing reality T.V – opening up to the cameras in the hopes of fans and admiration.
But amongst the wannabe stint and social sheep drive – everyone now wanting to look like everyone, there is a much to applaud.
Mainly, the relationships you form with people all over the world.
Creating my blog has been amazing for my confidence and my withering experience of loneliness – completely going against the stereotypes. It always feels amazing when you pour your heart out and someone reaches back and completely understands.
I have people who care about my poetry, my advice, my tips on fashion and beauty. I have this support network and for a girl who grew up with low self-esteem, it has been substantial to my perception of me.
Talking online has made me want to put two-fingers up at anyone who opts to spread negativity. I am bolder and far more assertive in what I want.
All achieved, because of the online friends who have supported me.
I refuse to accept that they are insignificant or not real. When I once read a blogger comment that she does not care and has no desire to waste a moment chatting virtually, I realised why she had no feedback.
Of course, similarly to reality, there are people who you communicate with as an acquaintance. You also have to include the knowledge that not everyone is genuine.
It is easy to type sweet words without true meaning. It takes a second to write ‘babe’, ‘friend’ or ‘beauty’.
And who is to say that you will so eloquently combine typing with actual talking?
What is the point with online friends is that they are important. When I asked the question, I guess through putting together my opinions, I instantly summarised that we should appreciate them far more.
If you read my blog, you know experiences that my family and those closest are unaware of. Sure, you might read and move on without a second of consideration, nevertheless you sit and you read.
I have Instagram followers who are battling tragedies, difficulties and sadness and they message me personally. It shows that even without recognising body language and voice tone, we can pick apart those we feel we can trust.
Online friends are not the same as your real one’s – that should be celebrated. We now get two types – additional people who have your interests.
If you have stuck around after Lauzie’s Lifestyle became The Style of Laura Jane, I cannot say enough of the gratitude I place.
And that second question I asked regarding the funeral, this writer felt just as awful losing an online friend as she did a real one.
How do you view your online friends?
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