No matter how many pictures are floating around Instagram with ‘can u not’ and Grumpy Cat splashed all over them, there is an undeniable need within all of us to have friends.
As we described in our article Internet Friends Are Real Friends, throughout school we are encouraged to make friends with others in our classes and if we don’t we are left to feel excluded and alone. If you think about that, it’s a little bit strange. After all, just because you happen to be the same age and in the same location as someone it does not necessarily mean you will function well as friends.
Once the gates to the Internet are opened up though, you can discover others you have far more in common with from your wicked sense of humour to your decidedly weird interests. This can lead to powerful, strong and beautiful friendships that do not rely on location, age, gender or any of the other boundaries that our real-world surroundings may hold over us.
Today, we thought we’d share a few tips on how you can maintain these online friendships despite the fact you may be worlds apart.
Play Online Games Together
Over the years it has become abundantly clear that Internet users want their online experiences to be social, which is why social media sites as well as online news outlets and blogs that promote discussion have become so popular. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, it appears that playing online multiplayer games is the best way to make and maintain friendships.
According to a study conducted by the University of Jyvaeskylae, Finland those of us who play online multiplayer games are able to form lasting relationships with each other as easily as face-to-face friendships, as members often share the same values and goals as their online friends. Yeah, it may seem pretty ridiculous, but it's true! One way to maintain your online friendship may be to ask them to join you at an online casino in Australia here, or play online Scrabble through Facebook. There are thousands of multiplayer games available online, and you never know you might make some new friends in the process.
Be Honest With Each Other
Throughout our childhood we are told not to speak to strangers, and with the introduction of shows like Catfish it’s more important than ever to know exactly whom you’re speaking to online. On top of this, it is easy to forget that there are real-world consequences for everything you say and do online, which is probably why there are so many individuals who devote their time to ‘trolling’ others.
To maintain an online friendship, it is crucial that you treat your relationship with all the love, respect and honesty that you would an in-person friendship. It is extremely easy to construct facades over the web, but if you manufacture your friendship on a foundation of dishonesty it is sure to collapse eventually. Instead, aim to build a solid relationship where you feel you can rely on that person and offer the same to them. An honest dialogue is always necessary within a friendship, and your online one should be no different.
Make Time for Them
This may seem like a silly request at first, especially when we consider how much access we have to the Internet, but if you really think about you online friend, how much quality time are you spending just with them? Sure, commenting on their Facebook statuses or reblogging their Tumblr posts is all well and good, but it may also be a good idea to open a chat or initiate a Skype call with them.
By showing your willingness to engage with them on a one-on-one basis regularly, you are expressing your interest in and gratitude for this individual. During these meetings, try to focus your attention on your friend rather than playing games or chatting to others on the side as well, as chances are they’ll know when you’re not giving them your full attention. Over time, familiarity and comfort are sure to grow, leading to lifelong friendship that cannot be restricted by the likes of location or distance.
Online friendships are swiftly becoming a part of a lot of people’s everyday lives. They are just as precious, just as powerful and just as important as your in-person friendships, so make sure you put in the effort.