Communicating online, as opposed to communicating in person, has its pros and its cons just like most everything does. In many ways it helps us maintain and better our relationships. But it can also change our relationships for the worse. What I’ll be talking about in this blog is similar to what I spoke of my last blog. In my opinion, I think it is better to communicate in person rather than living through a phone screen.
Don’t get me wrong, communicating online can be both fun and also very useful. It comes in handy for example if you are physically not able to meet with your friend(s). Personally, it has helped me to somewhat maintain one of my closest childhood best friends. My friend, Luke, moved away after the seventh grade because his dad was in the military. He moved half way across the country to Maryland which made me very sad, thinking my friendship with him was over with; but I was wrong. Through social media such as Skype, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter we have remained close friends years later. He still comes back to Omaha every once in a while to visit and when he does, we meet up and hang out as if no time had past at all. We get along just as well as we had years before. Similarly to my friendship with Luke, social media has also helped me maintain one of my closest high school friendships. My good friend Cody goes to school down in Lincoln, but we still keep in touch and talk to each other virtually everyday through either texts, snapchats, and sometimes through video games on Xbox Live.
So there are many ways in which social media has helped me maintain friendships, but that being said I wouldn’t say my online friendships are more deepening. The times my friendships really grow and become close are when I meet with my friends in person. When you go through experiences and adventures with friends in person it is a lot more meaningful than just communicating online. That’s just simply how you make memories. You never hear anyone talk about the great time they had snap chatting someone the other day. Another negative with online communication is that it can be confusing at times. Unless you are doing some sort of video chat, you have no access to gestures, facial expressions or sounds which is key to communication. Sarcasm, for example, is not always picked up over text messaging which can often times lead to awkward confusion. A lot of times messages get lost in translation when a persons says one thing but really means another. Often times it is something you would understand in person, but since you aren’t face to face it causes you to be confused as to what the message actually is.
Overall I would say that online communication is fantastic for maintaining long distance friendships. However if it is deeper friendships you are looking for, I would encourage anyone reading this to try to communicate in person as much as possible. It can make a world of difference and you will definitely make more memories doing so.