Hello again, everyone. I know it has been a couple weeks since my last blog post, and even longer since my last Conversations post, but I am finally getting time to spend online, and I couldn’t be happier!
This week’s discussion topic is one that is a little weird for me, since I do have a bit of social anxiety coupled with being the walking billboard for introversion, and therefore, friendships work differently for me sometimes. So I will be discussing my online friendships vs. my friendships IRL, and hopefully it won’t come off too weird. Let’s begin.
My Friendships Online vs. My Friendships IRL
My online friendships are something that I treasure immensely. Because I am so exclusive to one community of people, the bookish community, it’s easier for me to be a little more comfortable with the side of me that my daily companions don’t get to see much of. Although I have gotten more comfortable over the years admitting my love for YA, there’s still that lack of understanding where I come from, or even my ability to talk about the books I’ve read, since most people I know just don’t read at all.
The friendships I have online are genuine. I love my book clubs and my Insta friends. But one thing they do lack is the deeper side of a friendship. Yes, we get to talk about books, but we don’t talk about home life, personal struggles, or anything like that. I would love to have friendships like that online, but none of mine have reached that far.
Real life friendships do give the benefit of being a little deeper. I have one best friend and I have my boyfriend, who is basically my bestest friend. I know I can talk to either of them about absolutely anything, and it’s the same for them. They love me enough to let me nerd out, and my best friend is just as Harry Potter obsessed, so she understands. But our friendships revolve less around our hobbies and interests and more around one another as individuals.
All in all, friendships, online and IRL, are what you make them. If you want your online friends to be the people you can talk about personal stuff with, then make it happen. If you only want your IRL friendships to be the people you can connect to online, then that’s fine. As for me, it’s just a different type of connection, and a different part of myself, that comes through.
Now, I said earlier that friendships are weird for me, and I have yet to express why. The thing is, while most people go out with their best friends, go to lunch, and just generally see each other, I don’t really do that. I spend time with my boyfriend, obviously, because we live together. But as for my best friend, I have yet to hang out with her outside of work. And I would say we have been friends for over a year now.
Not to mention, she’s like one of my only friends. Yeah, I get a long with other people, but to actually say that someone is my friend is more difficult for me. Apart from my best friend and boyfriend, I would say I have one other person in my life that I would call a friend.
Like I said, I have a bit of social anxiety, and that contributes. Doing new things makes me nervous as hell, and that includes hanging out with even my best friend for the first time. But really, after a day of work I just want to be home with my boyfriend and our cats. That’s all. I don’t really enjoy surrounding myself with people, or even one person. That’s the ever-present introvert inside of me.
So I think for those reasons, there is less of a disconnect between online and real life friendships for me. I love the different levels that each group of people see of me and the different ways we interact. And I appreciate each one the same either way.