So, I’m really happy that we’re revisiting our ongoing series, Through Miles and Media, once again with our final topic of discussion for now: “How We Hang Out”, but also kind of sad because for me it’s been fun writing this series and being able to learn more about my friends and their personal opinions on our friendships. The last topic has honestly been about three different topics before settling on this one, and I’m relieved we actually were able to settle on one or I was able to decide on one. (Totally not wanting to sound controlling or dictating about this series just because it’s my blog.) Some people who don’t know much about how internet friends work may be wondering “how in the world do internet friends even spend time together or hang out?” Well, it’s pretty similar to how friends in real life spend time together, but just over the internet on a screen of some sort. You don’t always get to hang out with your friends in real life all of the time because we grow up, get jobs, and do all of the adult things that you have to do to live in this world. You have to make or find time to spend time with your friends and the same principals apply to internet friend; it can be a little bit trickier or easier sometimes depending on how much time either one of you have.
When I first met Chan and Morgan, we were all in high school and had a lot more free time because we didn’t have jobs like we do now. I was homeschooled in high school so I was able to be on my computer and phone whenever I wanted to, so it was really easy for me to spend hours upon hours talking to them, and others, day in and day out. I loved it, and it was so much easier for me to talk to them then half of my other friends in real life! The majority of the time we talked over social media; in the beginning it was the Reba app and Twitter, then we migrated over to text, email, and Facebook, and eventually it was Skype. I’ve Skyped with Morgan a lot more than with Chan mostly because I would teach Morgan how to play guitar over video chat, and it was just easier to talk to her over Skype than Chan. With Chan, we were still in that awkward “we’re best friends but I have no idea what to talk about -face to face- type friends”, so we only ever skyped once and we talked a little then awkwardly stared at each other the other half of the time. Needless to say, it was probably best that we didn’t skype anymore cause it was that weird awkwardness that neither of us knew exactly how to break. I did, and do, consider Chan to be one of my best friends but we both mutually know and understand that we’re just a little bit awkward face to face for now.
Back in high school, I always considered “hanging out” mostly just texting because that’s all we could do. We just texted because we didn’t talk on the phone due to international charges for minutes. We’ve still never talked on the phone and only text via Viber – a free texting app, and Facebook Messenger. It’s just one of those things we work around without using actual minutes and normal text messages, and thankfully in the day and age that we live in there are so many apps that help with connecting with people on the internet. We were basically pen pals, just without the actual letter writing, and although we did email the occasional long email once in a while it was mostly just short form communication. I thought it was coolest thing in the world to have this whole other world of friends and be able to connect with other girls my age online even if my parents had no clue about it at all. (Again, probably not the smartest decision!) We never really set a specific time to talk to each other, we would just send a tweet or text and wait for a reply, and we’d know when each other was online because we’d usually already be sending a text to start a conversation or insert ourselves into their conversations with other people.
On the rare occasion when it worked out, we would watch the Reba TV show together, and by “together” I mean we would literally try to start the same episode at the exact same time and text each other about it like we were watching it side by side on the couch at one of our houses. I’ve had some of the greatest times, few and far between, watching episodes or movies together. There was one Christmas that we all watched a ton of Reba episodes on Christmas eve, and I had the best time because I was hanging out with some of my favorite people laughing together while watching a show we all loved. Sometimes it’s strange now when I watch it, because I rarely put a DVD in of it, because even though I can still quote every line of every episode it’s still not the same as watching with them, and I’m not into that show as much as I was back then. It’s funny how you’re so into something at a certain time in your life, and then you grow up and move into a different season of your life, and you get into different shows than you were into before and it’s almost like a different life.
I will never regret getting online and meeting these people because they’ve been my best friends for so long now, I don’t honestly know what it would be like for them not be in my life, and I have gone through those seasons where we aren’t as close, and I do miss them when we’re not talking as much. It’s just this great bond that we’ve put in the work for these friendships that span over thousands of miles and two separate countries that happen to be on the same continent. We had our fair share of distant times and all of that, but that fact that we’re still friends to this day is something that I’m really proud of, because even though we may not talk as much and we may not always see eye to eye on different things I can still call them a friend, and can consider them to be some of my best friends. Just because we are thousands of miles away doesn’t mean that we can’t hang out like friends in real life do, sometimes being that far away makes you work that much harder to have those real connects with people because you have to push back that superficial friend front and just be honest friends. I’m glad to say that I have two of those friends, and we don’t always have to be talking or we could be talking every day but I will always root for them because I know they are rooting for me.