My Internet Friends
I am independent to a fault. When I was in high school I remember telling people “I’m not getting married until I’m 40 and have nothing better to do”. Surprise, I got married at 22.
Aside from being swept off my feet by a kind hearted ENFP, I still operate extremely independently. I’m fiercely independent.
My personality is intertwined with my need to produce, to create, and to work. The need to socialize? Not so much. This doesn’t mean that I dislike people. I just rarely feel the need to “hang out” in real life.
I love people. And I really love people … from a distance … that don’t place expectations on our relationship.
That being said, I still crave connection with my own species. Craving connection and socialization in my eyes are two very different things. The problem is and has always been, my extremely limited time.
I want 5 mins here to deep dive into a conversation… 10 mins there to brainstorm with you… and do you know where I’ve found the people to do that with me? You guessed it. The interwebz.
When I moved to Florida in 2006 I was active on quite a few Myspace forums. Internet OG… I know, I know. It was in those forums that I connected with some like minded people who I eventually ended up meeting and are still friends to this day. They were some of my first friends in Florida. Also… Myspace was in fact the place I met my husband… and I’m not going to even pretend I don’t think thats super cool… because it is.
Through the years I’ve been able to pop in and out of conversations with the communities I’ve shared interests with. This has been the perfect environment for me to just be myself without the pressure to adhere to forced social expectations. I could drop into a convo on quantum physics with some internet friends for my 5 free minutes, and just that little bit of connection was always extremely meaningful to me.
I’m quite monogamous when it comes to online communities, I usually find one or two that I linger in for years. Those 5 minutes here and there add up, and I’ve ended up sharing moments of joy and heartbreak, wins and losses, with many of my online friends. I’ve cried for them, had the privilege of being included in some of their happiest moments, have fervently fought with them, and have ultimately been accepted into their global family.
How cool is it that we live in a time where I can have friends that live in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, the UK, New Zeland, and beyond? I am so … incredibly lucky.
Overall, I’m extremely grateful.
So to all of my Internet friends (and my real life ones too), thank you. Thank you for giving me an environment where I can be myself and share moments with you. Thanks for trusting me with some of your most precious moments, and helping me to learn and grow as a human. Thanks for not letting my limited time be a factor in the amount of value you place on me. And as someone who has struggled with social anxiety their entire life, thank you for giving me a space to just be.
You are a breath of fresh air.
Love you … fo realz,