Strangers On The Internet - The Flip Side

The moment someone says strangers on the internet, you imagine them to be creepy or criminal minded people lurking around anonymously. Such have been the many cyber crimes where innocent people are lured in and trapped for something or the other. Anonymity is used as a mask for many crimes ranging from bullying to trafficking.

Then there's the other side of it, just like any other field. But this often gets ignored.

Strangers on the internet

For many introverts, shy or socially awkward people, who fail to make any friends at all in real life, strangers on the internet are sometimes their only friends. There's often no small talk, no formal conversations on the internet - no one wastes time in talking about weather, what your profession is, how your family is doing and all. They come directly to the point- your interests, an aspect of you which you may not even be showing up to the world. For some people, online forums are the closest they can get to meetups.
In a sea of chaos, they form a cozy nook where you can be you.

The added benefit of never going to meet this person makes you open up to them and discuss about your problems as if you are speaking to your therapist.

Deepest conversations are sometimes found in the comment section of a meme - the ones that blow your mind.
You get surprised how lonely people actually feel, when in the real world they may not seem so. It's rare to find someone who actually gets you.

In an ocean of people who think you are weird, someone who lives at the other side of the world can find you quite sane surprisingly. Sure it may all seem virtual and not real at all, but it may still end up providing more sense of belonging than any other person around you can provide.

As dark as some people's jokes can get, I have found the same strangers supporting people going through stuff like depression or break up.

Have a unique rare problem? Some stranger on the internet will have the solution who has been through it. I found about maladaptive daydreaming on reddit and before that I didn't know that the symptoms I experience have a name. Nothing else forms a better support group than a whole bunch of strangers who are going through the same thing. Even the dark memes about the serious stuff will sometimes provide more comfort than a whole lot of friendly advice from your family.

If not for the internet, we would have never known how other cultures are - how different from ours yet essentially same.

Have a weird interest? You will find someone who loves it too and doesn't find it weird.
Ever imagine bonding over the most random stuff? That happens only on the internet.
And these people bombard you with apt recommendations, reviews, hacks and better research than google's informative articles can ever provide. They fuel your interests when the rest of the world has been nudging you to quit it. They give you hope.

Yes, there are 7 billion people in the world. But your kind of weirdos are spread all over the world and they wont exist miraculously in your own neighborhood. Imagine asking a punk rock guy to be friends only with his friendly religious neighborhood? Sure, they may try to be friendly, but they may not ever have a heart to heart conversation.



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