Maria's Perspective

The secret of the mythical ”real people”

photo of person holding white headphones
Posted by Maria

Internet dwellers, gamers, and other less traditionally socially inclined people have a rough time when being talked about in the ‘’real-life’’ circles. The people we talk to over the internet and know to be real human beings are often played down, and we are told to go out and make ‘’real friends’’. What are these so-called ‘’real’’ friends? Isn’t a person a person, no matter what medium they happen to use to communicate with others? This is the topic of today’s post.

They are not real!

This is something I’ve been told many times in the past, I’ve heard it being said about me at the other side of the line that remained open, and I’m sure a lot of people I don’t know have had to go through with it since the dawn of the gaming scene. It is as if we basement-dwellers, we who like to stay home and at our screen and socialize this way, do not exist in reality.

It is incredibly bizarre to hear someone you’ve never even met rant on to your friend about how you are don’t really exist and should be disregarded in the name of ‘’real’’ people. Hey, dude, I’m right here. I’m not a bit-bot designed to trap this person into the game by playing the role of a humane connection! 

Especially in today’s world, when we keep depending more and more on the online world and services, it is such a backward thing to think that the only ones worth your while are your neighbors or the people you meet on a daily basis at work. Sure, meeting in flesh has its advantages, but don’t be dismissing the opportunities you might have online!

A different bonding experience

There are, of course, some key differences when it comes to befriending people in real life vs doing so online. Some of which are huge bonuses in my eyes for the web as well as providing for convenient cover for harmful and toxic people. I mean, how likely is it that the troll on the internet will come to tell you to go do unspeakable things to yourself face to face?

One of the things I’ve found about the internet is that it caters to the way in which I like to communicate with people – writing. I can type away and feel thousand times more comfortable doing so than I would ever feel talking to a stranger in a coffee shop. Writing is my medium of choice for a lot of things I need to handle, and if I can convey my point this way, I will. Things don’t go this easy for me in the majority of my time in the so-called ‘’real-life’’!

Another bonus for me is that I have no pressure about myself, in the way that I’d have to be self-conscious over my body when I’m talking over Discord to a friend. The communications are based purely on written and voiced chatting, giving an opportunity to personality in the beginning, and as time goes by strong bonds are formed in places like raid teams, collabs, and just casual nights out with randoms online.

Of course, sometimes it’s a hit or miss, I was never a fan of services like ChatRoulette since I’d rather not be surprised by any genitalia in my spare time surfing.

How they transfer to real life

It is not a secret that many of these relationships zizzle down and die, as many traditional ones do, but some of them may become a beautiful, blossoming friendship with actual meet-ups and cultural clashes. Some of my best friends in the past were from the gaming world, and because of them, I got to experience the real world like I’ve not experienced it since.

Whether it was going out to have a random mid-night car party in the neighboring city, or to take my first ever solo flight all the way to the UK, these people were undeniable very much real. And for years these people lent an ear to my unending struggles, as I tried my best to return the kindness in full.

Real talk

Alongside the new way of bonding with people over the internet comes the safety of anonymity. While this tends to work for the meanspirited toxic folks of the webs, it also works as a barrier breaker when it comes to some of the most painful topics in a person’s life.

I have talked about my darkest times to my online friends, as I’ve been told about the difficulties in interpersonal relationships, love, leadership, family troubles, and other things that bother the human mind with their presence. I’ve mediated friends that fell out, and I’ve watched people bloom into caring, amazing individuals.

What we can’t tell our parents, siblings, sometimes even our significant others, we may find easier to spill out to a partially unknown person online. This is why I think anonymous help-lines and chats are sprouting and having such success, as sometimes people just need to get things off their chest with the knowledge that they definitely won’t have the backlash they would if they were talking to their own close circle about said things.

Meeting my husband

One such listener online was my husband.

We shared laughs, some frustration, a ton of sorrow online and in calls before our first face-to-face meeting. I can say from my side that I was terrified at the prospect of meeting anyone since I was physically and mentally in a very bad place. Yet, when the time came, and I needed him, he flew to get me despite us being mere online buddies that kicked ass on the PVP fields.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t toss opportunities into the wind just because the way they manifest themselves is not within our comfort zone. I’ve known some people to be hell-bent on not making any acquaintances online, as well as people like me who mainly connect with people through it. 

Whatever your preferred way of making contact with humanity is, try to remember that we are all people. Real People. And as such we all deserve our share of respect as beings that dwell on this earth. Well, everyone except that android that got citizenship. Androids are freaky and would eradicate humanity in a heartbeat. 

Do you have friends online? Let us know in the comments!

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