The ups and downs of online friendships


Dresdene Smith, Staff Reporter

You are browsing your favorite posts on Instagram as you usually do when you suddenly come across a person who has similar interests. You decide to talk to them. The conversations with them keep going. You realize that you vibe with that person. That special bond really makes you think, “Are they as trustworthy as they seem?”

Our parents have always told us that having online “friendships” can be dangerous. For many, finding a friend online can either be the best choice of their life or it can end up being the worst. An Instagram user that would like to remain anonymous stated their opinion on online friendships. 

“I did not really think that meeting people online would be something I would do,” Anonymous said. “I did not think of the dangers either, because I never planned on making friends in the first place, especially because my parents informed me not to.” 

When you have a friend that lives halfway across the world, there are going to be challenges to overcome. This includes gaining trust, getting to know each other, and actually meeting each other. Talking on the phone, especially video chatting, is one way to properly communicate and gain the trust of people that you have met online, but this does not always end well. An Instagram user that goes by the name of Ayano M. enjoys the company that online friendships have given her. 

“I have certainly had a lot of fun talking to the people I have met online,” Ayano said.  “I have gained a lot of friendships that I never really thought I could ever get.”

Once you have met someone you really have a strong bond with, you talk to them so much that most of the time you never question whether it’s safe to speak to them or not. Although meeting people online can have positive outcomes, it can still be dangerous. You could plan to meet someone and they could not be the person they said they were. People online can easily lie to gain your trust and once you meet up with them, it could be a different story. 

“Some people tend to get creepy after a while of knowing them, so it’s best to be careful while browsing,” Ayano said.  

Meeting people online can be one of the best parts of using the internet, but thinking about your safety matters as well. Refrain from giving your phone number or any other personal information to a person online, because they might not be who they claim.