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Hell on Wheels: Online Relationships of the 21st Century

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Hi Everyone! Welcome to Hell on Wheels!

Today, I wanna talk about something I vaguely mentioned in my “Get to Know Me” post, which is that I have many online relationships. The most important people in my life, for better or worse, I see through Skype or IM. It sucks, definitely, but I’m gonna put a spin on this.

First let’s talk about my best friends (for reasons we’re gonna call her Jenny). Jenny is a year older than I am, and we met when I was eleven because our PARENTS were online friends. (Who says this stuff isn’t hereditary?!)

So through a couple awkward snail mail encounters, and a few more awkward emails, we finally got wind of a bright new world: instant messaging. (Granted, we’re pretty sure her mother read over Jenny’s shoulder until Jenny got a laptop) In this bright new world, I made a friend. She was weird, she loved magical stuff, we had nothing in common for awhile…until one day, we magically clicked.

When that happened, it was OVER. We were the best of friends. She is THE person I credit to my passion for writing, because she was the first person I ever wrote with. We wrote novels on our own at the ripe age of 13, we wrote together and created a world, and through that we became closer and closer.

Now, do I wish Jenny lived down the street so we could sit and be together? Absolutely! But unfortunately she doesn’t. And we have to count on the sole visits that come together when both sides have enough money for plane tickets. When she is here, I really feel like part of me that had been missing has come together. (Cheesy. She’ll kill me for that.)

The next person I wanna talk about is a girl named Angel. (Again, the names have been changed). Angel came into my life through a mutual online friend, because I needed a favor. Now, I truly believe the fates must have aligned on this because Angel could have done what I asked for, and we never could have talked again.

Instead, Angel and I began to talk. And soon, guess what, I found out she loved to write as well. I don’t pick my writing partners easily, so I wrote something with Angel and I immediately knew I wanted to write with her again. We had interests that didn’t always connect with Jenny, and for a while it was nice to have someone I could write different topics with.

That was in 2010. As Angel and I talked and wrote and got to know one another, I began to feel the inevitable ‘ping!’ in my heart. I crushed it down for a while, but eventually I couldn’t. I told her my feelings (which was odd, I had never liked a girl!), and she said the words: “I like you too, but I can’t get in an online relationship.”

 

Smash.

 

(It really wasn’t all that dramatic.)

 

online friendsWe both decided our friendship was more important, and we continued like nothing happened. My feelings grew at a rapid rate (and p.s. she knows all of this. I’m an open book) and finally, on October 7, 2013, we started a relationship. It wasn’t huge. It was actually kind of no big deal. (Maybe she just got tired of me asking) In fact, we don’t celebrate ‘month-a-versarys’, we kind of forget until it’s been a year. It’s kind of anticlimactic, but I haven’t been happier.

Now. When I told my parents (I had already come out to them as bisexual), their immediate reaction, I could tell, was ‘an online relationship?’ but to be honest, I think relationships should spend time online. With both my best friend Jenny and my girlfriend Angel, I’ve learned more about them because, what else is there to do but talk? I’ve seen them at their best and at their worst, just like I would in an IRL relationship.

Does that mean I don’t wanna hang with Jenny or possibly live with Angel one day? Of course not. Eventually online relationships have to have an IRL component, but if you, a reader, has an online friendship or relationship, don’t let people tell you it’s any less real. It’s JUST as real or more real. It’s just different.

And as you’ve just read, different can lead to pretty awesome things.

by Molly Tracy

Molly Tracy lives in Orlando, FL. She’s currently attending Community College where she’s studying to be a teacher. She lives by the three Bs: Broadway, BBC, and Blogging. She has been writing for Outloud since Jan 2010.


0 0 762 30 September, 2015 Columns, Hell on Wheels, Lifestyle September 30, 2015

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