“The only active friendships I currently have are internet friendships”
With the Internet being such an easily accessible tool these days, we all, at one point or another, have met a friend through it. But while there are people who have both online friends and real-life friends, there are also people who have only online friends. Such is the case with college student Brian Helms.
“The appeal of online friendships is their ease of maintenance,” Helms says, “I feel that they can be a source of entertainment and I would liken them to the more traditional ‘real’ friendships,” but he goes on to say that, “They can be far more fickle than a traditional friendship. If I am having an argument or am not feeling up to getting angry, it’s only too easy to just close Skype and avoid the other person. They are easy to form, but easy to break.” Helms has not had a non-internet friendship for four years.
Currently, Helms has five online friends. “The oldest would be Matt and I have been friends with him for about 4 years now. I have not made any recent online friends, with the last one being 2 years ago. I don’t just talk to anyone online.”
When I asked him about how he felt about his chosen path, he said, “I feel that I have gained a good circle of friends and feel no need to expand. Although this is both a combination of me not looking, and opportunities not presenting itself. While WoW (World of Warcraft) got me those friends, after I got them I tended to play only with them, so it limited my means of gaining friends that were not brought into the fold by that group.”
Curiously, I asked him how it feels, the difference between real-life friends and online friends that you have never met. He replies, “I cannot talk to some of them for long stretches at a time, but when we start talking it’s like no time has passed. I talk to them as I would someone in front of me. I rely on them just as I would a normal friend. These friendships I’ve made, I feel will probably last longer than some other kinds.”
While some people may think it odd that there are some out there who create friendships with people they’ve never met, in this day and age of technology, meeting someone from the other side of the world has become even simpler than making cereal.