This past semester in English 11, Mrs. Dani DeJong shared a collection of essays from National Public Radio’s program, “This I Believe.” She then challenged her students to write their own personal credo about a core principle that defines their life. The array of topics, concerns, and passions were as diverse as the students themselves.
The ACS Inside Out blog is excited to present their essays in our 2017 summer blog series, “This I Believe: Eight Personal Credos by Eight ACS Students.”
PART EIGHT: New Kind of Relationship
By Evan Franklin
Growing up, have you ever felt lonely? You know you aren’t “alone,” but it’s that feeling that nobody understands, listens or cares about who you are, what you think or what you do. Everybody has gone through this at least once in their life, some more than others.
But how do people deal with this?
With the invention of the personal computer, the invention of electronic mail came to be and slowly over the years a new form of communication and relationships were formed. This became known as online friends (also known as “pen pals” depending on who you ask).
I was talking to one of my internet friends; it was just a normal friendly conversation, when his mom walked in and asked what he was doing. He said he was just talking to one of his friends.
I remember hearing her say, “A friend is somebody you see at the bus stop, not somebody you talk to through a computer screen.”
Over the years I’ve seen more and more parents and adults, still thinking that every online interaction could be an episode of Dateline NBC, where Chris Hansen is going to ask you to “take a seat.”
I’ve never understood the problem people have had with online friends.
For years, I’d get home, hop onto my computer, and there’s where I’d have my human interaction for the day. I had interests that weren’t commonly shared, my “friends” weren’t good people and it wasn’t easy to connect with others.
Over the years, I’ve talked to so many people online and formed these strong friendships all over the world that have really helped me during the lonelier times in life. Whether it was just playing games, or talking about life, to giving each other tips on drawing. It’s the same thing as keeping up with an old friend on Facebook. You aren’t going to see each other in person, but you can still talk face to face with a webcam, or listen to each other through a phone. You’re just taking out that initial “touch” aspect, which although can be nice, doesn’t make or break a relationship.
Face to Face
During spring break, I had the honour of meeting one of my online friends in person! Although it was incredibly weird at first, we ended up having the exact same conversations, arguments, and jokes as the ones we had over a Skype call. The only difference was it being in person, instead of a screen.
So was there any real difference in our relationship? No.
We shouldn’t be putting barriers on what a friendship is and isn’t. A friendship is simply two people that enjoy each other’s company.
Does it matter how the two communicate? I’d say, it really doesn’t.
A friend is a friend at the end of the day, and that isn’t defined if it’s in person or through a screen.