So I have a friend.
She’s the type you can do anything with and say anything to.
We’re really close, and she’s one of the few people I love talking to.
We’re really close friends, and I’m really lucky I met someone like her. I don’t have many friends, but the few I have are enough.
The only problem: she lives across the country.
Okay, not across. Just up north. But still.
I haven’t met her in real life, we met on a forum for club penguin discussion. We know each others’ real lives, like we’ve seen each other and she’s heard my voice although neither of us like to talk much and never felt the need to talk over the phone or whatever, but yeah.
So I’m talking about Internet friends in this post.
What makes them different from normal friends? A wonderful benefit of the Internet is you can talk to people who share your views and opinions, but at the same time, you’re exposed to all kinds of opinions, mentalities and people in general. Also, you are not scared of being judged on the Internet.
Yes, we do get anxious when posting a selfie, or if we have no Twitter followers, but you can easily move on; it’s even easier if you don’t leave your full name and a passport photo of yourself wherever you go.
I don’t mind people on like tumblr knowing my real life identity. I don’t want people who I know in person to find such anonymous accounts, though.
You may notice that I sign my posts with “-hikikomori”.
noun: hikikomori; plural noun: hikikomori
(in Japan) the abnormal avoidance of social contact, typically by adolescent males.
a person who avoids social contact.
But why I chose this specific pen name in particular is not important. What’s important is that I didn’t sign with my actual name, even though a simple look through my WordPress profile would give you many clues about my identity.
You see, we rarely actually do bother going so deep; just knowing someone isn’t signing with their real name is normally enough for people.
I think why I don’t want people in my life outside the Internet knowing what I post is because I don’t want to be constantly afraid of being judged. On the Internet, if you see someone posting weird stuff or opinions against your beliefs, you can always ignore them. In real life, these people get shunned by society, forced to stick to Twitter and Tumblr.
On the Internet, you can speak your mind. And I think that’s why you make such special friends on the internet; these people know the real you and you find people who can truly appreciate your true self.
It’s not that these type of people are not found in real life. However, you don’t project your true self, your passions, your ideals in their purest form, in public like that. So how do these people find you?
I think that’s why a lot of us say that we met our best friends over the Internet.
Of course, it’s probably mostly just us potatoes who live on pizza and Firefox/Chrome/Safari.