Friendships in the Digital Age: Nurturing Connections in the Virtual World

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Friendships in the Digital Age: Nurturing Connections in the Virtual World

Some 40-50 years ago, friendship generally meant that a person had friends in their general vicinity. Be it their workplace, neighborhood, school, or town. Nowadays, everyone gets to meet anyone from across different countries.

Pew Research Center indicates that 57% of teenagers can start their friendships in the online world through various means such as online messaging, gaming, random video chat, and social media. Their research has also found that 55% of teens prefer to text each other than meet with each other in person.

From this data alone, we can see that the digital boom has impacted our lives to the point where even making friends in the present is vastly different from how you made friends 40-50 or maybe even 10-5 years ago! The recent pandemic has shown us that online friendships are indispensable. The online world allows you to connect with a community of like-minded people who can offer support during some of life’s toughest situations.

Since you’ve likely made some friends online through mediums such as random video chat platforms like Emerald Chat, gaming, or social media, this blog post is aimed at helping you nurture your friendships in this digital age.

Understanding Friendships in the Digital Age 

First off, let’s discover what digital friendships are and what they look like. Digital friendships, contrary to its name, do not just remain digital, there will always be a time when you and your friends (or friend) will want to get together and meet each other in person, despite how long that may take.

Digital friendships start online. People connect through various mediums, including text-based chats and voice chats. These interactions become more and more frequent until, eventually, you and the person you met become ‘digital friends’.

Digital friendships are generally characterized by online chats for communication, interaction through the specific medium you’ve met each other with (like playing games with that person online), and the usual sharing of deeper personal information with them (having built trust). 

Once it kicks off, digital friendships don’t have that big of a difference in comparison to traditional friendships, except that they are digital and have fewer barriers when it comes to communicating with each other. We can write off the ‘most interactions happen online’ determinant since most of the interactions between traditional and digital friendships happen online nowadays due to the prevalence of social media and other technologies. 

Benefits of Friendships in the Digital Age 

Despite all the negative talk surrounding digital friendships, it offers us a lot of benefits in contrast to traditional ones. The first and most obvious benefit is that they are convenient and accessible, as mentioned above, due to the use of technology.

This means that whenever you’ve had some misunderstandings with your friend, or friends, it is easier to reach them because they are just a chat or a call away, it also allows you to easily disseminate information to your friends, which is useful when you are planning to bond with them.

The second benefit is diversity, with the internet being used by millions of individuals each day, the potential for you to gain friends from diverse backgrounds is high, this is good because it shatters the ‘closed-in’ view that we all have had at some point in our lives, it allows us to expand our understanding of the world and helps us give the respect each culture deserves.

Third and last is a benefit that exists for both digital and traditional friendships, is that these connections you’ve made with other people can be a source of emotional support in times when you might feel down.

Nurturing Connections in the Virtual World 

Now that we have a good grasp on what digital friendships are and how they benefit each one of us, let us dive into how to maintain these friendships.

Maintaining Good Communication

There is no good relationship (friendship, romantic, and even familial) that does not have good communication, digital friendships are the same and quite literally depend on good communication for the friendship to flourish.

Thankfully the technology we have today allows this type of communication to be very easy for us. Maintaining good communication means having a healthy amount of conversations with your friends, through mediums that allow you to contact each other with ease. 

While it is mostly centered around helping new people get a good conversation together, we’ve written a blog that can prove to be useful when you want to start a conversation with your friend, check it out if you’d like!

Spend meaningful time with each other

Similar to traditional friendships, spending time with your friend, or friends, solidifies your friendly relationship even more. These bonding moments show your friends that you are intentional with wanting to spend time with them, it is also during these moments when you can open up to some of the most fun conversations that help you get to know each other more and build more trust with each other.

In an online setting, spending time together involves participating in enjoyable activities with your friends, such as watch parties, video calls, text chatting, gaming, etc. There are a plethora of things that you can do, it just takes for you to look.

Meet each other

We can’t stress enough how important meeting each other is, after all, it’s better to have a face to refer to rather than just a bunch of chats and text messages. Meeting each other is not limited to you and your friends meeting each other in person (this is also very impractical since most of the time your friends are going to be from other places that are not within your city or town), it also means meeting each other through other mediums such as video calls. 

However, when the chance is there you must always choose to meet your friends in person, wework Ideas presents 5 benefits to having an in-person meeting in a job setting, and while meeting with friends is vastly different, the blog shows how important it is for humans to meet each other face to face.

Do not BLOCK the person

Lastly, like all relationships there may come to a point where you and your friends run into some misunderstandings, when these happen you should NOT block the person if you truly want to be their friend. There may be a short period before you get to talk to each other to straighten things out, but during this time always remind yourself that the other person was also hurt by whatever happened between the both of you, and once you get the chance to talk to them do not let it slip by.

Conclusion

In conclusion, with digital friendships becoming more of a norm how we approach potential friendships may change, the way we initiate a conversation, the way we get them to feel comfortable with us, and us with them, these are bound to change in one way or another as our technology gets better and better.

But the way we keep our friendships healthy has and it may even always stay the same despite how technology evolves, this is because, at the end of the day, we are all humans behind the screens, those who have taken to the internet to find companionship and a community where we can fit in, even when we might not in our real-life environments.

Nurturing friendships is an important aspect of our lives as it influences us greatly. If we have long-lasting, healthy friendships, we can reap the benefits of having a companion who can sail with us through the storms that we face in this vast ocean called life.

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Comments

2 responses to “Friendships in the Digital Age: Nurturing Connections in the Virtual World”

  1. Lot Balonem Cennik Avatar

    I must say, this is one of the best posts I’ve read on this topic. Your attention to detail and the thorough research is evident. It’s refreshing to see such well-thought-out content. Thanks for making a valuable contribution to the discussion!

  2. Koszt Lotu Balonem Avatar

    This post is a prime example of your expertise and ability to engage readers. Excellent work!

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