If someone had told me that when I met my best friend in 8th grade, we would one day have a friendship based on the internet, I would have believed them just as much as I didn’t want to believe her when she told me at the end of junior year that she would be moving from New York to Utah. My best friend in the entire world was moving across the country; the only person that knew more about me than I did myself. The girl who for the past three and a half years had been my shoulder to cry on, my favorite person to laugh with and my “partner in crime,” would no longer be living just around the block from me. There was no one in the world that could replace her, so how was I supposed to get through what was supposed to be the best year of my life – my senior year of high school – without her? Social Media.
Connecting with people online is easy. Social media creates virtual friendships so that you have someone to talk to at any given time. I always used social networking sites to talk to my classmates that I already saw in school every day, but it was never an absolute necessity in my life until I suddenly needed to keep in touch with my new Utahan best friend, Ashley. Could social media keep our long-distance friendship alive?
I can honestly say, yes. Three years later, I am still closer with my friend who lives across the country than with any person who lives in my own neighborhood. If we had lived decades ago, in the age of mail and telephone calls for communication, I don’t think that my answer would have been the same. With today’s technology, we can look at each other’s pictures and stay updated on what is going on within our lives every day. No matter the social media medium – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest – Ashley and I are always connected in so many ways at all times.
We now see one another two weeks out of the year, when she comes to New York and I go to Utah. One might think that a close friendship couldn’t actually be maintained on just two weeks of face-to-face communication a year, but surprisingly it has. As social media has taken over all other types of communication, I think that our friendship is better off existing in the online world than if we were waiting to send letters back and forth. Call me lazy, but I find it so much easier to check her status update to see how her day was than it is to pick up the phone and call her after I’ve had a long day at school and work. I am able to visit her vicariously through pictures and videos and we can even “hang out” using Facetime on our iPhones. No, this isn’t a traditional friendship, but this modern long-distance relationship works.
In today’s society, we are always rushing. There isn’t always time to preserve a long-distance relationship like ours but social media definitely makes it a whole lot easier. Social media is easy to use on-the-go due to its accessibility and ability to use whenever we want. Since Utah is two hours behind Eastern Time, it isn’t always conventional to have a conversation at the same time. Often times, she will send me a Facebook message when I’m already asleep and I can just answer it in the morning before school at my own convenience. We still share our most important pieces of information with each other without having to rely on the U.S. Postal Service or wait for the right time to return a phone call. Ten or even five years ago, a friendship like ours may not have survived, but I truly believe that in this situation, social media has saved us.