The Importance of Friends ( PART 2 )

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Greetings! Here comes the 2nd part!
Of course, it’s Hanna again.

As what I said in the previous chapter, this chapter would talk about online friends.

Maybe some of people (especially parents) said it’s dangerous to talk to people you met on the internet. They might say, it might be a drug dealer, it might be a kidnapper, or any other terrifying things. But actually, as long as you’re careful, there are a lot of wonderful people out there.

I have a lot of online friends. When I just have like, 5 irl friends, I have 50+ online friends. And none of them are a murderer, drug dealer, kidnapper, or anything bad. They’re all precious people who shares a same interest as me.

When I was 10 or 11 years, I made my first online friends. It started from facebook, I was in a K-Pop community. I talked to a lot of people and eventually became attached to them. I love to talk to them so I spent a lot of my time in front of my computer. It was fun to talk to them, even though I don’t really know who they’re, since most of them are using their idols as their profile picture.

Maybe some of them are actually faking their identities, I don’t know for sure. There was a person I talked to almost everyday, she’s really kind, her profile picture was a girl, not one of idols. I assumed it’s her face. But then someone I don’t know, who’s not even a member of the community, exposed her out telling everyone that she’s a fake, her profile picture was just some random girls on Google. And then she disappeared. I’m sad actually, I don’t even mind about her using a picture of girls she found on Google as her profile picture, I’m sad because I lost a good friend. She’s very kind and it has nothing to do with her profile picture right?

Here’s a story from when I was in middle school, I used twitter a lot and joined a role play agency. In role plays we don’t know the real person behind the account. For example, I role played Xiumin from EXO, I don’t know who’s the real name of Chanyeol role player, Kai role player, and everyone. I just called them by their characters name. even without knowing their identities, I’m so attached to them. I love talking to everyone, joking around, making relationships. It was really fun. We even shared our phone contacts, without telling our names and just keep calling each other with the characters name. That’s a great experience I had in life.

But then, there’s a sad story. Chanyeol role player declared he will quit role playing. I don’t want to lose any more friends I’m comfortable with. I’m so attached to them and I begged him not to quit. Because, if it’s not from role play, where could I talk to him again? He ended up not leaving but wasn’t online as much as he was. And we ended up telling each other instagram accounts and until now we follow each other.

A more sad story. There was a Chen role player who’s not online much, and he told me once or twice he was in hospital. I was worried. We don’t talk much since he wasn’t online pretty often. But we had a good talk when we had a chance. But then there’s no signal of his presence for a while. I was wondering, where is he? I messaged his phone since I had his contact already. And then, he wasn’t the one who replied. It was his sister/brother. They told us that Chen is no longer with us. He has a Liver cancer. I was so sad. I thought it wasn’t something as serious as that. But it’s too late, there’s no good byes, there’s no it’s a pleasure to talk to you, there’s no talk again later.

At the third year if middle school, I quit role playing. The reason is, I’m not into K-Pop anymore and there are a lot of new boy or girl groups I don’t know and can’t interact with. But those 2 years experience in role playing was really fun. When I’m having problems with school, talking to them are such a refresh.

In highschool, I made new online friends. The online friends I’m still in touch until now. First, I got into animes and made friends with people from tumblr. Started with sports anime, I joined a network called S.A.T.N or Sport Anime Trash Network (also called satan as a joke). Here I started to make overseas friends, most of them are from Australia though.

The next one I fell for was Idol animes and eventually, idol games as Ensemble Stars, A3!, B-Projects and many more. It was the most wonderful decision I made. Because through these games I could meet a lot of sweet people. I joined a network on discord, at first it was called Fukchan and Smeef the Gurry’s SICK! MCFUCKING Idol Heelys Experience of Discourse and SINS (please don’t ask anything, they’re just so wild) but now it’s called idol hell net. Even though the name is a mess, actually people in there are very kind, nice, funny, and everything. I love them. Hey if one of yall are reading this can you hear me I LOVE YOU ALL.

Every morning, or actually nights for most of them (only 2 of us are from Indonesia, the others are from USA, Australia, Brazil, and more) when I woke up and preparing for school, I’d listen to them in the voice channel. They might be listening some anime songs or random meme songs, or talking to each other. What makes me happy the most is when they called us family. It might be as simple as ‘hey fam what are we gonna do this weekend’ but it has a great impact for me, (who has a broken family, who’s forced to live with my father and step-mother,) someone I love to call me ‘fam’ made me really happy. Like, aaah yes I have family! Family which cares about me! Who’d listen to my anxieties or just ranting about how do I write a letter for Akira will he get how much I love him if I write it in English. I became so attached to them, even we talked about moving in together, I feel so much loved.

There was one time when we are doing a voice call, I was so shy and not confident with my weird voice and my pronunciation I turned off my mic. But they forced me to talk and I let out a hi? And they were just woA THERE CUTIE!!!! They said my voice was cute when I’m not even confident about it. They are basically humans made of sugars because they’re so sweet and gave me positive energy.

But since college started I don’t really have much time to talk to them, I finally get my shits together in reality. But sometimes I love to read their messages without talking to them, and I told them I missed them and wanted to play something together.

Not just that, in highschool, or specifically in 2016 I discovered Stage Play (as I said before in my previous post) and made friends with a lot of new people who shares a same interest. We meet each other on Instagram, and then we made a line group. The majority of people are from Indonesia, but some of them are from Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Italia, USA, and other countries. It was really fun to talk to them every single day. We made memes together, we talked about twitter updates of the actors, and everything.

That was my precious moments with my internet friends. We never meet each other physically, we don’t exactly know how their faces looked like, but we love and support each other. We got attached to each other feeling like a family without the presence of each other physically. We just talked to each other through a screen, but our feelings for each other aren’t fake.

The importance of internet or online friends in my case, are my mental support. When I’m at home feeling like it is not a place I belong to, talking to them made me feel comfortable. When I have no irl friends who shares interest in animes, games, or stage plays, I have them who I can talk to. When it’s midnight and I can’t sleep (this is when I haven’t started college, since college won’t let me sleep most of times) I can talk to them, since for them it’s still the afternoon. And online friends are the reason I’m comfortable writing in English. If you want to become more fluent in English, getting an overseas friend is a great help.

Summary, even though I can’t feel the warmth of their body as we do virtual hugs, it is still comforting. I can’t imagine my life without them. I might be a shut in, or worse I might committed suicide since I really had a depression period, but they were there. Helping me with anything they could do. And I’m glad I could meet them.

That’s all I could say for now, thank you so much for reading this far! I’m happy to share my joyful experience with my online friends! I hope you’ll find an online friends you’d get along together well with you!
Have fun!

Hanna, 18.
Architecture Student.

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