VIRTUAL BONDS | 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM 2 YEARS OF INTERNET-SOCIALIZING

Written by the_chelf@yahoo.gr

Human relationships confuse me.

I’ll start with that. I was never good at socializing, I never had a lot of friends and frankly I cannot actually define the word ‘friendship” for the life of me.

And writing about it gives me a lot of anxiety because as good as I am in doing research, bloody hell, you cannot google “friendship” and expect to get a good grasp on things.

I left my desk and made a fresh pot of plain black coffee.

This conversation is making me uncomfortable.

 

The past couple of years I voluntarily left my fortress of solitude and escaped my comfort zone to get out there and meet people. For me that meant both in the physical and (mainly) the online world and it came with a lot of drama, wtf-is-going-ons, and is-this-real-life “David after Dentist” kind of situations.

I’ve never looked for romance on line as I’m happily involved in a life-long relationship.  I never looked for friendships either to be honest, but it happened.

So here is what two years of online socialization taught me so far:

99% of times it won’t work out.

Meaning that you’ll most likely fall flat on your face and get tempted to conveniently hide under a pile of blankets.  Don’t.

Because:

The 1% is totally worth it.

It’s quality not quantity that we should be after. Counting heads means absolutely nothing when it comes to real relationships.

There are two sides to each story.

If someone let you down, reverse the situation. Maybe you let that person down too. Simple as that.

It’s not the end of the world.

If things don’t work out, it’s ok. Same goes for all kinds of relationships I suppose.  Invest in yourself, not in other people. Learn how to be content and happy with yourself. Do the things you love without expecting anyone else to join you. Live your life to entertain yourself not someone else. So when things don’t go as expected, you can still be content despite losing a friend. Not to pretend that I master at this, I still think about, and terribly miss, everyone I’ve lost so far. Especially the friends that I did not expect to lose. But I’d rather meet you, love you and lose you than never knowing you at all.

Have proper expectations and keep it real.

Don’t expect perfection and do not pretend to be perfect. Show the real you, flaws and all. It’s human nature and that’s not picture perfect. You cannot Instagram-filter your personality and you shouldn’t want to.  That’s the most important thing I’ve learned so far and may be the key to success.  I thrive on nihilistic thoughts and dark humor.  At the same time I’m annoyingly proper and comme il faut in specific areas of my life. I’ll let you know from day one.  If you can’t handle my sense of humor and morals and vice versa, we are setting ourselves up for failure, so let’s skip that part and be true to what we are and what we like, to attract the right kind of people.

Being Picky is OK.

Don’t allow anyone into your life to fill the void.  Be open to different kinds of people, by all means. But realize you are entitled to pickiness. If I’m not super excited to hear from you and/or be with you and chat with you, and take time out of my day to spend with you, why bother?

I’m gonna need another pot of coffee.

It’s a beautiful mess, human relationships, whether you have a screen in front of you or not: It’s scary. Me, at least, I’m scared to death. Especially when it comes to potential opposite-sex friendships, which complicates things even more, I’m close-to-quitting-scared.

And my fortress of blankets is winking at me, especially now that it’s getting colder. It’s safe and comfortable. But safe and comfy won’t take me places and I’m well aware of that so I’m getting ready to fall flat on my face again.

Or not. Cause there’s always that 1% chance.

Until the next one,

Chelf.

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “VIRTUAL BONDS | 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM 2 YEARS OF INTERNET-SOCIALIZING

  1. Everyone needs to remember that people move in and out of your life, and that is ok. Great post about being social even if you don’t think that you are 🙂

  2. The “It’s not the end of the world” part really got me. It’s very applicable to romantic relationships too and I’m guilty in investing to other people rather than myself. But it’s the greatest lesson I have learned.

  3. Ola says:

    I always love reading your posts Chelf. They’re so soulful. Being “social” is definitely an inexact science. It’s sort of like art…the only one who can really define what it means is the beholder.

  4. What a thoughtful post… It’s definitely made me think about my own relationships and whether I hold on to them because it’s much easier than forging new ones…

  5. I’ve lost friends before and it sucks and it hurts. But I’ve also made new wonderful friends since then. Some of my closest friends I met online through a facebook group for moms of babies born the same month as my son. I’ve met a few of them in person and still call them all some of my closest friends.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      This is a great example of a success story! Let’s hear some more.

  6. What an open and honest Frank account using your own personal experiences. Sometimes people do not work in our lives sadly xx

  7. Spot on again, Chelf. It’s not the end of the world. I always tell this to my friends whenever they come to me complaining how hard life is. Opposite-sex relationships can be challenging, makes you really want to hide under the blanket. But that’s the purpose of any relationships/friendships – you open up yourself to them (to an extent) and make yourself vulnerable. There will always be two sides of the story! Life. ugh

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      Yes! That is the point indeed. Opening up is not easy but it will get you that 1% in the end (fingers crossed)

  8. Being picky is ok. Better to be picky than to settle for what won’t make you happy in the long run. Online relationships come with all sorts.

  9. First I love this, because I have felt and honestly gone through this a fair bit. That 1% is totally worth it and I really really struggle with making friends online but the few I do have will be there for a life time and I am so happy to have them in my life. Flipping the script is always a good way of looking at things and I am usually the one who dropped the ball.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      Hey Angela! Lovely to hear from you. Let’s hope that 1% is worth it indeed, let’s hope we will figure out a way to make it work!

  10. I’ve also had people leave my life and usually it is for the best. I do have a couple of friendships I regret letting drift apart.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      I have to keep that in mind Amy, it usually for the best even if we fail to see it at that moment

  11. Marjie Mare says:

    Thank you for sharing such an honest post with us. I always try to keep it real and have proper expectations. Coffee always make it happen to me.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      I’m glad you liked the post Marj!

  12. Is Coffee a friend? Because if so, it’s my best friend- always fresh, caffeinated and ready at a moment’s notice! In all seriousness- I struggle with friendships as well. I truly appreciate all of my IRL friends as well as the ones I make online! Keep sharing great notes- people need them!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      Thank you for stopping by Meg 🙂 Coffee counts yes, every single one! Thank you for the feedback hon, it keeps me going.

  13. Wonderful reading! I am an introvert and I prefer having my own time than socializing out of my home. I feel the same when it comes to internet world too. And I love drinking coffee with company or not, haha.

  14. Love the honest reflection in this post. We’ve really got to keep socializing for that 1% that clicks and sticks around. I’ve been lucky to forge really great friendships with other bloggers over the last two years of blogging. They keep me sane!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      I feel ya on this one boo.

  15. Fascinating post, Chelf! I’m an introvert at heart and can relate to so much of what you wrote here – I am also like you a relative newcomer to the whole world of social media, and am pleasantly surprised at the solid friendships I’ve developed with people I’ve never met IRL. 🙂

  16. Lisa says:

    Love this post about being social. Everyone has their own ways to get themselves out there in there own time and comfort and there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂

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