The internet is such an amazing place. It really, truly is. Sure, there are some negative aspects of it like people being toxic at times and certain places in the depths with some very hateful speech but on an overall basis, the internet is such an amazing place and today I’d like to talk about some of the reasons why I think that.
I guess I’ll start with how unique the community of the internet can be and how open it is as to who can be friends with who and how relationships can be developed. The internet doesn’t care what your race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever it may be is because up until you decide to open up to people, you have complete anonymity. That can be a double edged sword because it also allows people to hate with anonymity but why I mention this and why it’s great is because the way people meet you is through YOU, as a person and what personality you have. A person knows minimal info about you before you talk to them. When I play Halo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, whatever game it may be, the people in my game until I talk to them only see me as “Haertzen,” “Kirichaki,” “ClamEatsCurry,” etc. They don’t know I’m from Kentucky, they don’t know my age, my name, etc., the only thing these people have to judge me off of is my username, my voice, and the actions I choose to take in my game, on a forum, in a chat room, etc. This is a gaming website, so of course most of this article will be focused on the gaming aspect of the internet but this rings true for whatever corner of the internet you choose to partake in. This is the main reason why I say the internet is so beautiful. People you’d never expect to meet or get along with or judge prematurely is entirely possible through the internet.
So now that we’ve talked about how you can meet people, let’s talk about the relationships you can develop with them. It is truly wonderful how much internet friends can become true friends or even partners in life. The people on the outside who never use the internet typically see what is going on and think that it isn’t real. Here’s the thing though: they are completely and utterly wrong. Making friends, or even partners which happens sometimes, can hold greater bonds than friends you would make in the real world. If you think about it, internet friends are even more accessible than friends “irl (in real life).” For friends irl you have to go out of your house and meet up somewhere to hang out (I want to point out that this isn’t a BAD thing, it’s just a talking point I’m using), whereas hanging out with internet friends is just a click away. For someone like me who does get pretty lonely typically, having an awesome group of friends I can click on a Discord voice channel and instantly be hanging out with a great group of people is another thing that is truly amazing about the internet.
I have internet friends who haven’t necessarily been “life-long” friends yet, but I have several that have become incredibly close to me. The first I’d like to mention is Alyssa. While I may not talk to Alyssa much anymore, she was the first internet friend I had that really showed me “wow, this is the real deal.” After Austin, Ryan and I found Alyssa it really opened my eyes to the possibility of being friends with people on the internet, all across the world. The next group and honestly probably the most important I’d like to mention is the friend group we call ourselves are “the jerks.” These guys and gals are such wonderful people and most of us became friends SEVEN YEARS AGO over a game called Star Wars The Old Republic. Kiiral, Jist, Sarah, Hannah, Lient, Nolly, Pari, Hidro, Alicia and everyone else has existed in our discord, thank you guys for being such amazing people and friends.
The internet is also a great place because everyone can find something they enjoy. I’d argue the most common one of all would be Netflix. I know a lot of people treat Netflix, Hulu and other similar services as their kind of “cable” now, but don’t forget that these are internet-based services at the end of the day. “Internet” doesn’t have to mean gaming. Without the internet people wouldn’t have some of their favorite services. Without the internet there would be no Netflix, no Facebook, no Twitter, etc. There’s a misconception that the internet is only a place for these crazy neck-beard losers and that just isn’t the case. It is sad at how bad the internet can be misunderstood, especially among the older baby boomer and earlier generations.
The internet is home to millions of jobs now. In fact, MY job is based off of this website, the internet. Without the internet, jobs like mine would not even exist. Twitch streamers, bloggers, YouTube content creators, online-based news websites, etc. none of these would exist without the internet. Sure lots of people wouldn’t consider the first few “jobs,” but their jobs are to provide us with entertainment, which is one of the most important jobs there is in my opinion. I love my job, and hundreds of thousands of people like me also do, and that is what is amazing. Now with the internet, more people are excited to work now more than ever. The feeling of seeing an article or video or stream of yours do well is the most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced in the world honestly so far with the few times I’ve had that experience, It makes me feel like the king of the world.
Please share with me some of your stories with the internet, whether it’s building amazing relationships, an experience with a game, whatever it may be. We are all connected now more than ever, so let us shine even brighter with the gift we’ve been given.