How can you miss me—we’ve never even met?

Pondering the impact of online friendships

I miss you.

Haha…How can you miss me – we’ve never even met?

😛 But it’s ages since we chatted properly and I miss that.

True. I kinda feel the same I guess. Technology is weird.

Too right. And amazing. We live on the other side of the world, have never met, and yet you know more about me than some of my friends I see every day!

I’ve not really thought about it like that before but, yeah, you know some things about me that literally no one else does. Scary! 😂

It’s crazy coz technically we’re strangers!! But I meant it…I do miss you.

Yeah, sorry I’ve not been replying much lately. I’m not ever sure why really. Well, I do, I guess.

Yeah?

Yeah. I don’t know why I didn’t just tell you…but I started seeing someone. And I guess it felt strange to be chatting as much as we were. Not sure my boyfriend would like it!

That’s great news.

Yeah? Thanks. I think I was worried you wouldn’t like it. Like I know we’re just friends…but I wasn’t sure what you’d think.

Nah. It’s fine. We can still chat though can’t we?

I guess. Just seems weird. Coz I don’t think my boyfriend would like it. But I don’t want to keep a secret from him…I do love chatting to you though…

Imagining this conversation—and countless others—make me wonder about how technology is changing human relationships and even what it means to be human.

For most of human history, human relationships have been nurtured face-to-face. Sure, writing letters became a way to communicate when apart, but that was with people we already knew.

Thanks to the internet though, we can get to know people we’ve never met. We can be friends—even close friends—with people we’ve never been in the same room as. Or country.

How is this changing us human beings? How does the newfound ease at forging relationships with strangers alter our very makeup as humans?

And what is the impact of friendships with people we’ve never met in person on those who are physically part of our day-to-day lives?

I don’t have any profound insights to share at this point. It’s just something I’m pondering at the moment.

(I love that word ‘pondering’—such a great word! 🤔 Great emoji too! )

Like most things in life, it’s not a case of good or bad, or better or worse. But it does seem that there are undeniable new implications that are worth thinking about.


Image: Bruno Gomiero

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