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03-Jun-2020 19:43

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I can talk about all kinds of personal and embarrassing things when it doesn’t feel as “real” as having a conversation in the flesh.

Even if online relationships never cross over into the physical world, a DM-only friendship still has genuine emotional value.

We talk about everything, from our workplace crushes to the garbage fire that is politics in 2018 to our favourite moments.

We lift each other up, offer encouragement and advice, and we talk trash about the men who have wronged us. It’s not just a figure of speech when I say that my group chat “gives me life.” It’s science.

Not only do friendships prolong our lives, they make us happier, too.

People who are socially active are less stressed and depressed – they also tend to feel better about their lives and who they are.”I would argue that in the new digital paradigm, the presence of online friends can be a lifeline; especially as it is often easier to stumble across somebody with similar experiences online.

Start your search for your brand new friends or romance! Start building your brand new community of people just like you today!

There are so many special needs and disabled people who are just waiting to get to know you.

I suspect these reactions aren’t just leftover from the days when internet relationships were considered nerdy or perverted; there seems to be an enduring belief among some that a friendship is only valid or “real” if it was established in the physical world.In fact, according to anthropologist Robin Dunbar, 150 is the largest number of people you can forge and sustain friendships with, and I’d hazard a guess that most of us could count our closest friends using just our fingers.In the digital world, as in the physical one, quality trumps quantity, and if you’re fortunate, you may find a select few truly valuable connections amid all the likes and retweets. I’m currently planning a trip with my Twitter DM group chat, a wickedly conspiratorial cabal I speak with daily, more regularly than most of my real-life pals or even family.Indeed, there are very real consequences to only consuming perspectives from an online echo chamber, but missing from that narrative is the safe space the internet can provide for people whose daily lived realities feel like anything but.

Founding friendships on a shared identity or belief can serve as a reminder of your humanity, and sometimes such a bond can only be forged via the connective tissue of the internet.

Because every now and then, I need reminding that I’m not in this alone.