I hate to sound cheesy, but friendships that you make with people online are seriously special. Maybe it’s the fact that they almost always stem from a common interest or the fact that it can be easier to open up through typed words than spoken ones, but whatever it is, it’s unlike any friendship around. I’ve rarely had trouble making friends at school or work, but that hasn’t stopped me from befriending people all over the world via blogging, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it’s made such a positive impact on my life.
It’s so cool to be able to visit London or Chicago and automatically have friends waiting there to meet up with. It’s so important to be able to have access to people who may be able to relate to you in ways that your IRL friends can’t. It’s so cool to be able to freak out over your fandoms with people who have the same level of obsession that you do. Let’s be real: You closest IRL friends just don’t understand your mighty need to analyze Harry Potter with you in extreme detail nearly seven years after the last book was released. Your internet friends? They’ve got your back.
I’m happy and proud to say that I’ve met some of my closest, dearest friends online, and I know a bunch of our readers have, too. And yet, for whatever reason, online friendships still seem to confuse people, while online romantic relationships have become the norm. Weird. You’ll all be able to relate to these 17 things that only people with online friendships can understand.
1. You can absolutely geek out in the weirdest way without judgment because this was probably how you two came into each other’s lives in the first place.
2. You’re bummed out when they’re not around to chat online.
3. But you have their numbers just in case you have to tell each other something on the fly.
4. When you hear their voice for the first time on Skype or through the phone and you’re like…
5. You try to find a way to meet each other IRL. This involves a lot of plotting and a lot of luck.
6. And sometimes you actually get a chance to! Nine times out of ten, it’s awesome and not at all awkward.
7. But when you can’t meet at all, reblogging each others’ posts on Tumblr will have to do.
8. When your friend is feeling really down and you can’t physically comfort them you’re like…
9. At some point you realize that some of the friends you know online know more about you than the friends you’ve known IRL for ages.
10. When you get into tiffs with them and you approach your computer like…
11. But after an apology or the right funny gif, y’all are on good terms again
12. Having to deal with explaining your online friends to other people. They’re convinced you’re talking to strange people instead of perfectly normal people.
13. And they still think it’s weird even after you explain it.
14. You don’t underestimate the connectedness you feel when you’re able to talk about identity issues with them that you can’t with many people IRL. It’s so important!
15. When you and the rest of your online friends are all mutual friends and you sort of have your own clique going on.
16. But you can’t help but be super jealous when some of the clique find a way to meet up IRL and you’re just at home looking at their selfies together like…
17. But whatever. No hard feelings. You know that it will take something huge for you to drift apart. Y’all are in this for the long run.
Can you relate to having a super close friend–or best friend–who you met online? Why do you think those friendships can feel more intimate than friendships with people you met IRL? Tell us in the comments!