People, Pop Culture, Technology

What it’s like when all your friends are on the internet

When you only communicate with most of your friends through the internet, you feel like what happened to Joaquin in Her is totally plausible.

Your writing skills are impeccable and you can translate the hieroglyphics coined emojis like an expert.

You think you’re more interesting because you can have long, thought out discussions but really you’re just reading Wikipedia faster than the other person.

There’s this unwritten rule about greeting each other after a certain amount of time. It’s like when you see someone in person again after 6 hours, you say hi again. But since you can always say hi to each other over the internet, when people ask you how you are, they really want to know.

Your significant other is always surprised at how many messages you receive. But they only know how many messages you receive because you don’t have any local friends and you don’t leave the house often.

Instead of inside jokes you have inside gifs.

You only share the parts of your lives you want to. But you get to see people’s lives through their eyes sometimes and that perspective can be really insightful.

Happy hour can be anywhere if you text a friend to have a drink too. Even if they’re in Sweden.

You can’t really introduce your friends to other friends by bringing them along. Instead, you reply all on group emails where you don’t know everyone. All it takes is one solid link to forge the beginnings of an internet friendship.

Internet friendships can make you more empathetic. It takes keen perception to notice when someone is being different through text.

When all of your friends are on the internet, you wish you could see them in person all the time. But you still go through things with them as if they were because they can always be there for you. They are literally in your pocket.

One day people will be collecting our emails and making them into a book as if they were letters from Socrates, Neruda or Virginia Woolf. A poem, a love letter, a touching note is still itself when it’s typed. Shakespeare asked if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I ask, would a word by another medium have such meaning?

And that’s what it’s like having all your friends on the internet.


What being a good friend in your twenties means

It’s hard watching your friends do things to themselves that hurt.

Once you’ve been friends with someone for so long and they’ve seen you ugly cry, lock your keys in your trunk for the third time and milk come out of your nose, it turns into something more than just friendship.

You start to actually care about this person’s well being and future. Struggling between being a mom and being a friend can be tough. Especially when you’re deciding whether you should send that late night message to TFLN or try to explain why hashtagging #tweetfromthebackofacopcarTuesday isn’t such a good idea.

For me, my twenties have always been an adventure waiting to happen. If I don’t travel now, then when? Impromptu trips to Mexico in the name of journalism. Weekend trips to sleep in the stands of a friend’s graduation because she went to yours even though neither of you slept for 48 hours prior. sorry mom. Thanksgiving in BFE, Maryland because his mom makes the best home grown cream corn. Taking home two snakes because they were free and you were pretty sure the terrariums were strong enough to keep them from eating your dog.

You get busy making new friends and seeing new places. You see the friends you made in school less and less. A phone call here, a long email there. And be lucky if you have one that uses technology. I’m not talking interwebz. I mean a cell phone. Yes, some of my friends might as well be these people.

But complaints aside. Those blue moon phone calls and random inside joke texts keep it going and remind you why these bonds are meant to be.

So what do you do when that person is about to make a significant change to his or her life that they’re incredibly excited about and you strongly doubt its success? Telling them your feelings would be comparable to telling them you ran over their puppy. You try to write out how the conversation will go but really, you know it’s all going to hell if they start crying. What if they resent you? What if you can’t say it in the right way?

What if you don’t say it and they get hurt?

Really hurt.

I’ve watched enough Lifetime movies to know what “the right thing to do” is. But reality doesn’t always respect morals. Sometimes the right thing to do doesn’t turn out well and you’re just done. The older I get the more rude awakenings come my way of how, not all things end up alright in the end. Everything’s gonna be alright is a great song. But that’s all it is. I’m not trying to be somber or negative. It’s just one of those turns life takes that isn’t so fun. But you learn from it and the next time it happens you’re not so shocked and can handle it better.

I guess I just didn’t want this to be one of those turns. I was hoping I could just hit the breaks and glide into a field of flowers where my friend and I could just frolick with ponies and margaritas or something. But I’ll prepare for a screeching halt, just in case.

Silver lining: I imagine with either outcome there will be margaritas. But I’ll try to sneak in a pony, too.