Internet Connection: Online friendships aren’t always untrustworthy

A+basic+outline+of+Discord%2C+a+chatroom+application+often+used+to+talk+about%2C+stream+and+play+video+games.

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A basic outline of Discord, a chatroom application often used to talk about, stream and play video games.

Lee Krebs, Opinion Writer

From the time we’re young, we’re all told the same thing: “Don’t talk to strangers on the internet.” But if you’re someone who has trouble making friends, the internet can be a good place to connect with people whose interests are similar to yours.

Unfortunately, lots of people don’t see it that way. The privilege of anonymity can lead to an abundance of hate and bad encounters, but it also allows you to find people you mesh with. People who won’t judge you because you like something they don’t. While a lot of bad can come out of online friendships, so can a lot of good. It all depends on you and the people you talk to. However, the same is true with friends offline.

Growing up as the “weird kid” who liked anime and video games made it very hard for me to make and keep friends. Not a lot of people shared my interests. When going online though, it isn’t hard to find people who like the same shows or games as me. Survival horror and fantasy role playing games lead to making friends who I trust more than most people in real life, despite being thousands of miles away.

A lot of people don’t trust people online due to the myth that most people online are predators. While there are definitely dangerous people online and you shouldn’t trust everyone who says they’re a 16 year old girl, the overwhelming majority of people on the net are people you could meet anywhere in real life. An easy way to find out if the person you’re talking to is who they say they are is to try a voice call or video chat. If they say yes, then you have all the proof you need. If they say no, then you can start being suspicious. While this isn’t foolproof, it’s a good way to check.

A lot of my online friends have helped me in so many ways. I know that when I need to get something off my chest, they’ll be there for me. It’s simply unfair that my friendships are called invalid just for being online.

Stop bashing online friendships just because you don’t understand them. They aren’t just usernames and profile pictures; they’re people too.