It’s easier to make friends on the Internet.

You’ve probably spoken to someone or read somewhere that the Internet is ruining the good old-fashioned method of socialization: talking face-to-face. And also that everyone over the internet is cat-fishing you and instead of the fourteen year old girl you’re talking to, it’s actually a forty-year old man. While this happens sometimes, this is usually not the case if you’re sensible online.

What I don’t think these people realise is that it’s really hard for some people such as myself to talk to others, not to mention talking to people we don’t know in order to possibly befriend them.

There are lots of people – namely teenagers – who don’t have a lot of friends where they live, or at whatever school they go to. I thought I had friends, but I now realise that they were just people I hung around with because there was nobody else who wouldn’t shout at me; I know there are so many other people in the same position who don’t feel at home whether they’re with their “friends” or not.

My entire life on the internet (since I was eleven years old), I have always been getting along better with people I don’t know over games like Minecraft and MovieStarPlanet.

Some of my family joke about me being friends with fakes who are actually 43-year-old paedophiles just looking for some nice juicy children to manhandle. Let me tell you, the internet isn’t like that anymore; at least, not for me. I’m smart on the internet, and all the friends I make are never more than three years older than me. And I say “friends”, as in the ones I routinely talk to, because you honestly never know who else happens to be on the same server as you.

People over the internet are generally kinder to you, except in competitive gaming. I’m talking about relaxed, cooperative or non-competitive games with some sort of chat system.

Yes, there are offended people in Instagram comments virtually shouting at you because you don’t like stupid things like Thirteen Reasons Why, and you’ve got people calling you words I care not to mention because you’ve killed them on whatever game it is several times. But that’s nothing anyone should take notice of, because you’re never going to see that person ever again (unless you know them, of course).

Even if you’re on a competitive server, or game, people can still be nice to you.

Real life?

No.

In real life, people will say things about you, call you ugly, et cetera, because they don’t like you. They tell you (to your face, or behind your back) that your qualities are stupid, though they’re the opposite, and this person is just jealous. In game, people are envious that you’ve got a higher kill-streak, yet they usually congratulate you and your team. If not, they’ll call you a f*ggot and move on.

I’m not saying “real” friendships are bad. I’m just saying they don’t work with a lot of people, myself included. I think we can all say that we’ve lost at least one friend because of something dumb either of us have said.

The problem with the older generations saying that the internet is ruining social interaction is that they don’t understand that it’s actually helping. Socially anxious kids existed in the ’70s, and now the internet is helping them interact with others when they feel that they can’t IRL. I think this could be because you can’t see their face, or their attitude, and they’re just more approachable in general.

You don’t have petty arguments over stupid things as much, because you can just pretend you have to do your homework rather than having to stand there and scream.

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