January 31, 2013

Internet Friends Vs Real Life Friends

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What is the issue?
Thomas Leuthard
Thomas Leuthard

The Meet Cute

Internet Friends: The two of you chose each other’s e-company because you both have similar interests, or mutually obsessed over the other’s blog for months before getting the courage to send a message. Your relationship started from thin air, and required constant effort to be maintained, at least in the beginning.

Real Life Friends: The two of you were in the same latchkey program and shared an intense love for Fun Dips at an age where loving the same candy as someone was enough to solidify them in your mind as the kind of person you want to be with for the rest of your life.

Obsessive Fandoms

Internet Friends: They share your deep, dark, humiliating love for all things Supernatural. In fact, a decent chunk of your friendship has been based on long talks about all of the various ships you sail and how the writers refuse to expect what you know in your heart to be right for the series. Your internet friends just gets you in that way, and will never judge you based on the number of GIFsets you post in a day.

Real Life Friends: Every time you start talking about your unhealthy love for this book, or that series, or this on-screen couple that only exists in the dark recesses of your mind, they get this weird look on their face. They go all glazed-over and kind of seem like they’re trying to find the least offensive way to extricate themselves from the conversation. They just don’t get it, and are swiftly labeling you as “kind of a weirdo” for being as into Dumbledore’s personal life as you are.

Romantic Interest

Internet Friends: Developing a serious crush on an internet friend is nothing short of emotional suicide, as the distance is something that, while already a pain in the ass, becomes completely heartbreaking. It’s bad enough being 3,000 miles away from a friend you love staying up all night talking about music with, it’s unbearable falling in love with said person and still having all of that incredibly expensive-to-cross distance between you.

Real Life Friends: While you do stand a good chance of ruining all of the friendship you’ve built between the two of you by having sex one drunken night in the guest bedroom of a house party, you are at least able to follow your heart and give it a try if you so desire.

Fights

Internet Friends: There is nothing weirder than fighting with an internet friend. Though, on the one hand, they are not involved with the grating ins and outs of your everyday life which often lead to many friend fights, they have become enough a part of things to actually get to you emotionally if they’re not around. It generally requires the awkward commencing of a Gchat heart-to-heart and maybe the sending of a particularly adorable pug GIF.

Real Life Friends: This shit can drag on for years, because you’re always just like, “Ehh, we’ll figure it out eventually,” and you’re too lazy/proud to make the first move. Alternatively, you can end up forgetting about the fight immediately, because you’re both drunk at a house party and have better things to attend to than remember that you’re angry at one another for disagreeing over Lena Dunham.

Serious Talks

Internet Friends: You both have a great fondness for staying up into the wee hours talking about life, love, the kinds of things you want to do and see in your life, and the great hurts you have overcome since childhood. You love to talk about philosophical concepts and political beliefs and generally everything that you could possibly learn something from. Your talks are the best.

Real Life Friends: All this, plus wine.

Introducing To the Group

Internet Friends: There’s not a really high chance of this happening, but if it does, you’ll have to get over the judgy initial assumptions of everyone else that you secretly met on some dark, seedy chat room for some weird fetish and kept in contact with one another because you were the only person who knew the other’s secret. (In actuality, you met on an X-rated gay fan fiction forum. It was nothing weird or inappropriate.)

Real Life Friends: This has to happen much more often, and bringing a new friend into the fold is always a heated moment. It could work out really well and you could end up adding a great new dimension to every hang out, or they could be universally hated for wearing their hair in a weird way. Come to think of it, your friends can be kind of a tough crowd.

Friend Breakup

Internet Friends: Devastating. Nothing short of devastating, especially because you likely never even got the chance to let the friendship flower in the dynamic environment of a real-life hangout.

Real Life Friends: Also devastating, but you two had all the chances in the world to make it work. You lived in the same city, you saw each other at least once a week, and you had tons of friends in common. If you couldn’t make it work, it probably just wasn’t meant to be. And besides, you don’t run too high a chance of running into them again in a forum thread about the religious subtext of Adventure Time. You’re fine. TC mark

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