View Full Version : Online friendships/relationships, internet use


julialouise
07-08-16, 08:12 PM
one of the things that i keep thinking about is my history with the internet

i was born in 1995 to a middle class american family, so we've always had computers and internet around. i was about 8 when i started to really surf the web, and i was 9 when i joined the wonderful site of Neopets.

i loved playing the games on there (though i hardly took care of my pets), and i quickly got involved with a recurring group of users on the forums. i became close friends with some of them. this group stayed together for a couple years, even when we switched sites from neo to GaiaOnline (god, us weeb dorks).

i even developed 3 online romantic relationships during that time (not all at once). i have definitely found it easier to interact with people online, and it was fun because we were largely an informal roleplay group that just had fun online. it used lots of imagination, and when i did more formal RP stuff, it was a way to work on writing and making characters. i didn't stick with it long.

ANYWAY i'm getting off track. i've always been very attached to the computer and internet. it's practically second nature to me at this point and people tell me i type insanely fast (now i'm just bragging). but i've always enjoyed online interaction, and even in my late teen years, i was part of big internet groups (which focused around Tumblr blogging, and before that, I was part of another RP group based off a certain webcomic called Homestuck) and i even made some fairly close friends on there too. of course, i'm not still close with any of them anymore, but it was still easier. and fun, because if i couldn't relate to people in my school or town, there would always be someone on the other side of the screen who i could relate to.

is this a fairly common thing? especially with people my age and younger? i feel like i've been much more reliant on the internet for my interactions than a lot of people that i know.

Addition: also, I've always lost track of time when I'm on the Internet. There's always something on there for me to look at, sites to jump between. Tumblr is a blessing and a curse.

Tetrahedra
07-08-16, 11:10 PM
The thing I like about using the internet is that I can see what I'm "saying" before I actually "say" it. So I'm typing this post, and I know EXACTLY what I'm about to post, and then I make a conscious effort to hit the "reply" button. This, combined with what you said about being able to meet people when there's no one in hometown to meet, makes the internet so appealing. I have spent so much time on the internet over the past ten or fifteen years. It's kind of disgusting. But there's such a wide variety of people and I never have to see them face-to-face, which can be scary sometimes.

spunky84
07-09-16, 12:45 AM
I've been "addicted" to the internet since I was about 13.

It's easier for me to find people that share the same interests, or have a common interest and want to talk about it even though we're different in every other way.

I have some pretty bad body image issues which I feel is what is a big part of my social anxiety and awkwardness. So I feel more comfortable with interaction on the internet as I don't get preoccupied about how I look and how I feel people perceive how I look.

Like Tetrahedra, I can see what I'm saying before it reaches the other person (though I feel like I should stay away when I'm particularly emotional about something -- then that part seems to go out the door).

It also provides me with time to think about what I want to say. When talking to someone in person, I don't always know what to say or how to respond. It gives me a little extra time to form my thoughts. So I try to avoid real time messaging for that reason. It also gives me a better understanding of what they are saying. I have a problem with zoning out during conversations or I can't help but have my next thought in my head, impatiently waiting for them to finish, to the point that thought seems to be screaming while I'm trying to suppress blurting out and interrupting. Which means I missed that majority of what they just said. I like avoiding that.

It's just overall more comfortable. I actually "met" my husband online. I feel like our online interaction before meeting really made a huge difference. But yeah, I have more online friends than I do in real life (which is pretty much none).

Fortune
07-09-16, 12:47 AM
I was born in 1969 but I also find that the internet is how I do most of my socializing.

I first started using the internet in 1993, and have been making social ties from individuals to groups to even creating or facilitating communities. Prior to using the internet, I tended to be socially isolated. While many would say I still am, I have more friends than I did before.

stef
07-09-16, 02:57 AM
I now have this whole " online life " since i got' an ipad, i guess that was in 2012. i used an old laptop but was online less because i hated logging on to a computer at home after being on one, at work all day.
when i was a young mom i was so isolated, i wish I could have had these resources. goodness in 1990 there wasnt even really much internet yet anyway! when i was a student here we had to wait for regular mail. and call home collect on a pay phone.
I love having friends thru internet and yes its so much easier to communicate.

Hermus
07-09-16, 04:36 AM
In my years as a teenager I was very active on an online forum for high school students. Had a lot of friends there and a few times a year we had forum meetings where we would see each other in real life. Even met my ex through that forum. The downside of this kind of friendships is that they don't tend to last.

Fortune
07-09-16, 10:04 AM
All of my lasting friendships are with people I've met and primarily iinteract with online.

julialouise
07-09-16, 11:19 AM
All of my lasting friendships are with people I've met and primarily iinteract with online.

i honestly prefer them! and on top of that, i get along a lot better with some people (like my mom, who also might have ADHD) when there's some distance.

The thing I like about using the internet is that I can see what I'm "saying" before I actually "say" it. So I'm typing this post, and I know EXACTLY what I'm about to post, and then I make a conscious effort to hit the "reply" button. This, combined with what you said about being able to meet people when there's no one in hometown to meet, makes the internet so appealing. I have spent so much time on the internet over the past ten or fifteen years. It's kind of disgusting. But there's such a wide variety of people and I never have to see them face-to-face, which can be scary sometimes.

That's what i like too, but i still make mistakes!! or have extra thoughts and need to keep editing/sending more messages.

It also provides me with time to think about what I want to say. When talking to someone in person, I don't always know what to say or how to respond. It gives me a little extra time to form my thoughts. So I try to avoid real time messaging for that reason. It also gives me a better understanding of what they are saying. I have a problem with zoning out during conversations or I can't help but have my next thought in my head, impatiently waiting for them to finish, to the point that thought seems to be screaming while I'm trying to suppress blurting out and interrupting. Which means I missed that majority of what they just said. I like avoiding that.

It's just overall more comfortable. I actually "met" my husband online. I feel like our online interaction before meeting really made a huge difference. But yeah, I have more online friends than I do in real life (which is pretty much none).


This too, while i do love being able to proofread things, i often don't bother!! I like real-time messaging because it means i usually don't have to wait as long for a reply and it mimics the pace and energy of a face-to-face convo. I like using Facebook Messenger or snapchat for convos, but yeah, it definitely means that i'm more likely to say something impulsively or make a lot of mistakes. My messages in those situations usually end up being a string of multiple messages in a row because i just keep having things to say. I hate it sometimes but whatever. Either way, any sort of written communication is easier for me than verbal. Especially when it involves something emotional, like when I need to talk to professors about my issues.

I always thought it was silly how people criticized online dating sites (though that's less common now because they're so practical. Who says we need to settle down only with people within a 50 mile radius???), because yeah, I've met so many people and made so many romantic and platonic relationships online that it just makes sense. I dated a girl online (I live in the US, she's from Scotland) during my Junior year of high school and it was really nice. We both have emotional issues so it was nice to have the other's support, but we didn't have to be together always.

And what's nice about the internet is that it allows people to practice social skills that they otherwise wouldn't be able to use in person.

Opearli
07-09-16, 12:23 PM
Wow that literally sounds just like my internet history too!
I was also born in 95, i used to be an avid roleplayer of many animes like Naruto, Bleach, pandora hearts and hetalia.
on websites like Gaia, tumblr, facebook( yes i was one of those people) plus various forums i found on google.
I was infamous for forgetting to reply or getting bored or a roleplay, or even a conversation very quickly so it made it really hard to find friends, especially due to the fact I'm a fast talker and will switch conversation topics without warning.

I now only have about three people i can really call close friends.
And ever since i stopped roleplaying I've really felt as if I'm missing something from inside like, my soul? I dont know how to explain it lmao.

PolaBear
11-15-16, 12:11 PM
Like Stef said, iPad bought on a big change in that way, before then I had the Internet but want a load of social interaction, never did any of the games y'all mentioned, even got rid of an Xbox/PlayStation I had as there was always a feeling that they weren't great for me. A big change for me came with Twitter, before the I did no social media and even the thought of it bought the same kinds of feelings that social anxiety did in other situations, can't think how it started but gradually became more comfortable with it, in the same way i am writing on here (another thing I couldn't have done a couple of years ago) sand now it's an all the time thing, there's even a feeling that it adds some perspective.

Like a few of you have mentioned, think a part of it is that your vibe can attract where you want to go and what you are talking about, my account has no link to me (just my first name), and day to day things don't go on there, nobody I know in the "real world" is a follower on there and vice versa. Facebook isn't something iv ever thought as a comfortable thing, day to day painting your world, think maybe the falseness of it doesn't fit so well. The few times I have gone on there (just being curious) there's always a feeling that it was never a good fit. Twitter is just saying whatever is in your mind at the time, or thoughts on something that has just gone on etc, so it's mainly sports, some personal development, tv etc. Then over time I guess you find your vibe. It's kinda like on here I guess, again nothing is shared but then that can then mean more personal stuff can be talked about.

BellaVita
11-15-16, 02:30 PM
My lasting friendships I've also met online. Some of the people I relate to best.

In fact, I met my husband on this very website. Been talking to him nearly every day for three years coming this December. (In a relationship for over two IRL) We "click" so well too, better than anyone I've ever met, and the deep love we share is what makes my life so good.

I'm thankful for the internet, the friends I have, nearly everything I've got is linked in some way to the internet.

Talking to friends that I met online over voice chats/text chats is something that helped me get through some of the hardest times. I'm very grateful to members here.

PolaBear
11-18-16, 09:49 PM
Didn't know that bella (must have missed those posts), congratulations.

BellaVita
11-18-16, 09:50 PM
Didn't know that bella (must have missed those posts), congratulations.

Thanks. :)