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The Impact of Online Friendships

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The Impact of Online Friendships

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The internet has become a way for people all over the world to come together, whether it be on forums, games, or comment sections. The way people connect can be as simple as a brief discussion over similar interests, or can turn into impactful friendships that last years.

I met my best friend Carly four years ago on a Minecraft server (we were young). She was 12 and I was 13 and we were both in the eighth grade. We immediately clicked. We talked to each other and tried to Skype call everyday. We immediately wanted to meet each other offline and even tried planning it out. I remember asking my mother when I was 14 if it was okay if I went to California and she told me if i ever got the money, I could.

2000 miles is the distance between me and Carly. She lives all the way in Southern California. As 13 year olds, meeting wasn’t going to happen immediately. We used to watch videos of other people meeting their online friends with such envy. We knew were going to have to wait. We just continued being there for each other through high school, though. By the time we were freshman, we were best friends. Anytime I would mention her to my friends in school, they would act confused. They would ask if she went to our school or if she moved away. I remember always having to explain that I met her online. I realized our friendship wasn’t really conventional. This never brought us down, though.

After three and a half years of being friends, the idea of meeting offline came up. In December of 2016, Carly told me she had an extra ticket to a concert, but no one to go with. I jokingly talked about me going. Then, the idea hit us. We immediately started actually planning it out. I brought it up to my parents, who both at this point know who Carly is. After some convincing, they said I could go. i used Christmas money and my paychecks from my job at Wendy’s to pay for the plane tickets. It was all I could talk about between December and April.

When I finally got to see Carly, it was literally the happiest I had ever been. We basically had a week long sleepover to make up for all the time we didn’t get to spend time with each other. We didn’t get tired of each other once. We experienced many parts of SoCal, together. Typically, online friendships don’t last too long. People end up losing touch or schedules just never work out. However, Carly and I have almost always kept touch. We had about five months where we didn’t talk, but once we regained contact, it was like nothing happened.

Online friendships may not be the most common, but they are equally as important. If I had not met Carly over four years ago, I would be in a bad place right now as a senior in high school. She’s helped me through so much, and vice versa. I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. We’ve already started planning on meeting again. I could go on forever about how much she means to me, and I’m sure others could do the same about their online friends. The distance may be a drawback, but it doesn’t change the fact we still have so much to experience together.

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