I want to tell you a story about me and my best friend Rachel.
Coming from a small town and going right into college, I was pretty much forced to make new friends. Which, if you read my post about admitting that I’m a bit of an introvert, then you know how daunting of a task that was for me. I found some new people to talk to on a writing board, and I met this great girl named Rachel. She lived in Philadelphia and we hit it off. We chatted online for a couple of weeks, finally exchanging phone numbers, chatting until all hours of the night. Mostly we talked about writing, we planned little stories together, developed, and made big dreams together.
One day, we started getting real. After that, we determined that we were holding the rope keeping the other afloat. She called me when she got into fights with her Mom, when she had nowhere to go, and when she had no one else to turn to. What started out as an internet friendship because we had similar interests became someone that I can’t live without. She drove 1200 miles to meet me for the first time, on my wedding day and when she got married, I was there too. No one knows me like her.
It was all up to us how close we were going to get to each other. From a brief chat over AIM to the sheer joy I will never forget on her face the day I met her, face to face, for the first time, everything that she and I are friends wise, is simply because we allowed it to happen. I wanted to invest myself in that relationship.
In the end, the only person responsible for making your relationships over the internet “thick” or “thin” is yourself. The only thing you will ever get from social media is what you put into it. Yeah, it’s daunting (trust me, I know) and sometimes overwhelming, but eventually the light at the end of the tunnel will show.
Who knows? You could be talking to the next great person in your life. Reach out and trust someone. It’s all up to us. Say hi, make a joke, and be friendly.
And as Rachel likes to say, “It’s always funny to me that we’re so close, because usually when you meet someone online that you get along with, you’re supposed to report them.”
Who are you going to talk to today?