The Pros and Cons of Online Friendship

Olivia and Luciana on Google meet

Olivia and Luciana on Google meet

Since the introduction of the digital world, many aspects of life have changed, including business, evangelization, journalism, and relationships. It has now become possible to make friends over the internet whom you have never met in real life. Olivia and Luciana have been online friends for two years. They met through a MODG LS class, and since then have gotten to know each other and have grown in friendship. They have compiled a list of pros and cons when it comes to online friendship and some helpful tips on how to sustain fruitful friendships online.

Pros of online friendship:

  • You can meet people from all around the world and easily sustain friendships with them.
  • It allows MODG students, as well as all students enrolled in online schools, to get to know one another.
  • If you are having a hard time with your “in real life” friendships you can talk to/get advice from your online friends who don’t know the person and aren’t emotionally attached.
  • You get to learn more about different places and can indirectly experience different cultures.

Cons of online friendships:

  • Since you don’t get to see each other in person, you can’t do all the fun things you can do with your real life friends.
  • People do not always show their true personality through texting and it makes it easier to say things you won’t say to someone’s face.
  • In order to spend time with your online friends you will end up spending a lot of time on your phone or computer. It also becomes easy to get overly fixated on your online friendships so that you don’t focus on the people around you.
  • It makes it hard for your parents to know with whom you are interacting and what you are being exposed to.

Here’s a conversation Olivia and Luciana had about some helpful tips about online friendships!

Olivia: The most important thing is to always be yourself! Sometimes it is easy to have a different personality online or say things that you wouldn’t say in person. Whenever I go to send a text I’m subconsciously asking myself, “if this person was standing right in front of me, would I say this?” It’s a good practice to get into!

Luciana: Another thing to add, is that when you aren’t seeing the person face to face it can be hard to know how what you say affects them. Therefore it is important to always be careful of what you say and to think twice before you send a message.

Olivia: As with any friendship, it’s important to have good boundaries in order to have a healthy relationship. When it comes to online friends, you must balance how much time you spend texting and video calling. My rule is that if I haven’t prayed in the morning or spent time doing something fun with my siblings I can’t text my friends until I’ve done so. This helps keep my priorities straight, because as fruitful and fun as online friendships are, they can never replace physical interaction with those around you.

Luciana: I definitely agree! You must monitor how much time you spend texting or video chatting so that you aren’t falling behind in school or becoming so wrapped up in your online life that you don’t make time for people around you.

Olivia: In addition to texting, video calling is a really helpful way to get to know people online! You get to see what they look like and get a glimpse of their actual personality. Personally, I don’t love talking in group video calls, but it’s always a good challenge for me to participate in the conversation, which always ends up being really fun and growing for me! As simple as it sounds, if you’re uncomfortable talking or turning on your camera, challenge yourself to do those things, you won’t regret it!

Luciana: In order to more easily show your true personality, it is important to do a call in a place you can most easily be yourself. You also don’t need to put on your favorite outfit, fix your hair or put on makeup just to impress your friend. None of these things are bad, however. And I’m not saying you should do a video call in pajamas but you also don’t need to overdo it. All of this basically comes down to BE YOURSELF!