Remember back in the day when your mum would warn you never to speak to strangers on the internet or give out your personal details? Well last week I flew down to Birmingham to meet some strangers on the internet who know everything about me. It’s literally every parents worst nightmare.
I’d like to think I have quite a few close online friends – I see myself as quite a friendly person and I love a wee chinwag on Twitter with other bloggers. There’s quite a few people who I speak to more regularly than others and would now consider some of my closest friends, which is both amazing and awful because, more often than not, they live quite far away. Hence why I had to get on a plane to meet some of them.
It’s a really, really scary thing meeting people that you’ve become so close with online. There’s no awkward silences on WhatsApp or Facebook, there’s not that safety of just not reading the message if you can’t be bothered to reply. I’m always so nervous to meet them in real life, I feel a twang of panic directly before and quite a bit of anxiety in the days leading up to the meeting. I worry about what I’m going to say, I always worry about it being awkward and the other person not liking me. It’s all stupid worry, of course, because everyone I’ve met has been lovely and they’re still my close friends after meeting me which is always a very good sign. I try to not come across as a completely different person online, but I feel like people take one look at me and think “…definitely a catfish.”
I just so happened to be added to a little Whatsapp group chat a little while ago, and like all group chats we had a lot of “how old are you?” and “where are you from?” etc etc, we had a few people leave the group chat and a few people added in then they also left, which made our tight-knit friendship group start to form. It started off as a blogging group to discuss blogging, but it very quickly progressed into a place to go to for advice or to say something inappropriate – we genuinely became best friends. And I know the other girls can relate when I say that I don’t have a massive group of friends who are girls, because I feel like they tend not to like me for some reason, so having these girls around to ask for help with no judgement was amazing and not what I’m used to at all.
We tried to plan a meetup for months, going through all possible locations and working out prices for me to get there seeing as I live the furthest away, and the day that we set a date and I booked my flights were the 2 most exciting and nerve-wracking days ever. You get so close to these people and you actually forget that you haven’t met them yet, because it doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like you’re old friends, school pals, that have moved away and you still keep in touch constantly. I think the weirdest thing for me was actually seeing them all. I forgot I’d only seen them in photos and to have them just standing in front of me in person was super weird. Having to go back home again was really sad, I’ve been so close to these girls pretty much since our group chat started and even more so now that we’ve met, and I really, really missed them.
I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life – they cheer me up whenever I need it and listen to me rant about everything. I’m surprised they’ve stuck around this long.
Have you ever met any of your internet friends?