Love Bites: Online Connections
This month's columnist reflects on online connections and long-distance internet friendships
When we talk about online connection, it’s usually about meeting new people. But there’s something comforting and amazing about talking to your friends across the world. During the pandemic, I have had a love/hate relationship with the internet but I am grateful I have a lifeline to everyone I love who lives abroad.
I often find myself wondering what lockdowns would have been like without faraway friends. As someone who never slept well, with bouts of insomnia getting worse from 2020 onwards, it was suddenly more important than ever that having friends awake in different time zones. While the rest of the world slept, I could always say hello to someone.
Recently, a friend deleted their Facebook account and we started writing letters to each other. It did briefly make me feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel but was ultimately frustrating when I wanted to share news quickly, so we’ve resorted back to the imperfect internet for now.
It isn’t the same as speaking to people in person but, for a moment, it becomes irrelevant that they’re on another continent because you’re both discussing a very minute point about how the geography of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls doesn't make sense at midnight in Scotland and and nine in the morning in South Korea.
Sometimes the distance is even a benefit; getting people from afar’s opinions and advice is occasionally easier than talking to the people physically closest to you. Having a friend in New Zealand also means that they get to listen to new albums before you and give you their reviews. Talking about bad dates, families, pop culture, and even just sending someone 7000 miles away a GIF can make you feel like someone is a little closer to you.