As a teenager, my parents did what good parents do best and they questioned my online activities at every opportunity. “Who are you talking to? Where do they live? How do you know them?”
Like most teens of the early 2000’s, I spent time in chat groups and on MSN messenger talking to friends from school and meeting friends of friends, or total strangers. Despite my outgoing personality, I really like to be alone and chatting online gave me the solitude I craved while meeting my need to be social. My mother would often scold me for referring to the people I chatted with as friends. “You don’t know them,” she would say. “You can’t be friends if you’ve never met someone.”
SPOILER: Mom, you were wrong.
I recently traveled to Toronto for the #YMCParty where I got to see people I’ve only met once, people I’ve never met, and people I’ve met a small handful of times. And I count many of these ladies among my closest friends. Together, we share trials and triumphs – sometimes from opposite sides of the country, but always with love.
I’ve met many of the important people in my life through the internet, from Facebook to Twitter and even Instagram! I’ve made friends through blogging who bring so much love and light and joy to my life, I can hardly imagine that they weren’t there all along. Had it not been for a Twitter friend, I wouldn’t have my current job. Had it not been for Twitter, period, I’d have never met Erica Ehm or become The Frenzied Fashionista.
Internet friends are real friends. Sometimes, people you’ve never met in real life really have your back.