Conversations: My Friendships Online vs. My Friendships IRL

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This week’s Conversation post comes from the Conversations meme hosted by Corralling Books and Fiddler Blue. The topic is of their choosing this week. Feel free to follow the links and join in.

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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.

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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.

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6 thoughts on “Conversations: My Friendships Online vs. My Friendships IRL

  1. I have always had an insane amount of friends. I credit that to my extroverted ways and the fact that I can pretty much get along with everyone. When I was younger I was ALWAYS with my friends 24/7, however now that I am an adult and have a family, we rarely go out with friends. I think that is a pretty normal occurrence as you age. I have also noticed that my true friendships don’t need a lot of work. We can see one another once a year and pick up where we left off without skipping a beat.
    Great post! I’ve never really considered the difference in my IRL friends and my online friends. You hit the nail on the head!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that’s the wonderful thing about the internet – it removes geographical barriers and lets us meet people who love the same thing we do anywhere in the world. I’m an introvert too, and I completely get not wanting to be around people after a long day. Online friendships can be much easier to deal with then!

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  3. It was so interesting to hear your perspective! Although both of us see our online and real life friendships as having less of a difference, you definitely have different reasons than me! Regardless – online and real life friends are both awesome to have for their small reasons – and I’m glad to count you amongst one of my online friends, Ashley! ❤

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  4. I totally follow what you said about online friendships not being as in-depth as your IRL ones. I definitely have the same experience. You might talk to people about bookish things but (sadly) it never gets much deeper than that. I think that it would be a nice extra to have that deeper connection with some online friends. On the other hand I’m also a bit scared to initiate a deeper connection, for example by asking a more personal question, because it feels like I’m prying (though I’m really just genuinely interested in these people). I never know when I am “allowed” to ask more personal questions without it becoming weird (or feel like I’m trying to invade their privacy).
    On the IRL front I’m a bit of a mix between introvert and extrovert. I really am a homebody and I love being at home, just me and my boyfriend (still waiting for our cats sadly, because our super won’t allow them in the building!). But I also love being around my friends. I just have to be in the right mindset for hanging out with friends (I was gonna say right mood, but that just feels weird, it’s not that I don’t like to hang out with them it’s just that I need to have enough energy or something like that in order for me to actively want to hang out with people… It sounds weird whichever way I say it….).

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    1. Sorry that it has taken me so long to reply, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. But I completely understand needing to be in the right mindset to hang out with people IRL. I prefer for it to be on my own terms and in my own time. My boyfriend and I actually had people over last night for tacos and games, and it was a lot of fun. I’d rather have people over to do chill activities than go out and drink or go to house parties. It just makes me more comfortable, I guess.
      I also get what you mean about going deeper online. It’s hard to cross the line from being book friends to actual friends. But I would love more people like that in my life (so if you’re interested let me know!)

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      1. No problem, I’ve been a bit absent myself 🙂
        Oh I love just staying in with friends, getting a bite, playing games (if you are looking to find out about new games I highly recommend watching Will Weaton’s youtube channel “tabletop”, there are so many cool games out there!). It’s just a lot more fun to interact with people on your own terms because you’re a lot more comfortable that way and can enjoy the whole thing more.
        I’m always interested in finding new friends, so I’m definitely in!I think having different types of friends is so enriching to one’s life that you can just never have enough of them.

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