Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Importance of Friendships, In Whatever Medium You See Fit

I have about 150 really close friends, and I've only met about a dozen of them.

No, really. Out of respect for privacy I won't say too much about most of them, but I'm in a particular Facebook group full of really amazing people that I consider better friends than many people I currently know in real life (sorry).

The group has been around for about two years, and in that time I've gotten to know these (mostly) women really, really well. I know, I know. A lot of people think you can never achieve the full bond of friendship through a computer. They could be anyone, posing as 20- or 30- somethings to infiltrate this band of buddies and then pounce when we let our guard down. They could be another incarnation of the Craigslist killer. They could be 14-year-old boys. They could be they could be they could be.

They aren't. I trust them all implicitly. Many of us have met in real life. Who has met whom depends on geography, but between living in a place lots of people visit and doing a little traveling myself, I've met many of my friends; even shared a hotel room with a couple of them. I have not been murdered, and no one is 14.

But that's beside the point. What matters is that I have a large group of people I feel close to, who are at the same time encouraging, supportive, hilarious, passionate, smart, and kind. They will call me out when I mess up, but support me in efforts to fix my mistakes.

I wish everyone could have access to friends like that, whether online or in real life. Having a support network is vital to success. And yes, you can get extremely close to people using a computer. Before I had met anyone in person, I still felt like this was a tight group. I don't feel any more distant from the people I have yet to see face-to-face. Everyone is important.

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