Are Online Friends Better Than No Friends At All?
Life can get lonely, especially when you find that you haven’t been very social. With how busy life gets, sometimes finding time to spend with friends and loved ones can get pushed aside.
But forming and developing friendships with others is an important part of our mental health. As humans we crave face-to-face interactions and the companionship of other people.
When you start to make new friends it’s usually based around common interests. Finding things you both like or enjoy doing is what helps form a bond.
But one reason why today’s generation might be finding it difficult to make new friends is due to the dependency of technology and how we expect it to form relationships for us.
Having relationships on social media is not the same as forming relationships with people in person. There is no physical interaction and little face-to-face contact.
Developing and using social skills is an essential developmental tool in life. That’s why learning how to interact with others is so crucial. It is the stepping stone for building friendships and making connections with other people.
But one thing online friendships can do is to bring people together who share common interests and help them find a support network.
Just like having a group of friends is important for our well being, having an online community to join is also a good way to start socializing and forming relationships.
Although it’s not quite like making friends in person, it still helps people connect and bond over common interests. Active listening, having meaningful conversation, and developing trust in others can all be done online.
Having a screen between people isn’t ideal, but having people you know you can contact and talk with, even if it is online, is still a great support system to have.
Making friends online can also help people open up, especially those who are shy or have social anxiety. One thing that can be intimidating when meeting new people is the struggle to fit in.
With online friendships it can be comforting to know there is a bit of a safety net between everyone. This helps people come out of their shell and get to know others while still feeling in control and safe.
Having a support group is always great. Whether it’s online or within a group of friends, having people who support you and have your back is one of the best feelings any of us can ask for.