Typing While Tipsy

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I’m not a massive drinker. I have a night out every once a while but honestly can’t remember the last time I got really wasted. It’s rare for me to be tipsy, especially on a week night. And it’s even more rare for me to start typing while I’m tipsy. Believe it or not, this is about as crazy as it gets for me these days… sitting in my PJ’s with my laptop glaring on full brightness, sipping a glass of red and occasionally reaching out for a handful of salted popcorn.

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I’m in the mood for writing for some reason – maybe it’s the alcohol acting upon an introvert – I dunno. What I do know is that I’ve been meaning to write a ‘digital diary’ entry for some time. I’ve always kept a journal and since Make Me Up Marie started I’ve given you little snippets of insight on my life and the workings of my brain and since switching from a fashion, beauty a lifestyle blog to an authentic lifestyle blog and open journal, I feel I can be a lot more honest and open, seeing as I’ve given you fair warning n’ all.

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Tonight I thought we could have a little chat about friends.

Nooo, I’m not talking about the TV show. I’m talking about, you know, the people you consider to be your extended family?

It’s a taboo subject and one I usually avoid for fear of looking or sounding like a ‘loner’ but truth is I seem to have less and less ‘friends’ as I get older. I suppose this may be due to the fact that I’ve got less and less time for people, though I can’t help but feel there’s more going on that first meets the eye…

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Here’s my theory, which I’m tempted to call a fact; excessive use of social media results in less time spent connecting with individuals face-to-face and more time communicating electronically. Online shopping ensures next to no human interaction. Automated phone calls take away responsibility, empathy and the ability to understand. We’re all locked in our houses, overworked, tied to our screens and completely self-absorbed. Communities are no longer thriving and local businesses are being pushed out by commercial chains and mega-money franchises. Our personal problems and everyday pressures are so intense that there’s not enough space or energy for us to care for ourselves properly, let alone one another.

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And despite all this there are so many of us developing relationships online, wishing we could bring our digital reality to life! It’s sad to admit but it’s easier to make friends online than it is to even meet likeminded people in real life these days… isn’t it? Well, that is if the people we talk to online can even be considered ‘friends’… which leads me to another head f*ck of a question/contemplation. Is it possible to have an authentic relationship with someone you’ve never even met?

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I mean, think about it. You have loads in common, conversing with one another is effortless via instant messaging, you make time to support one another and you’ll even have a heated debated that borders on banter but almost always escalates into an argument – sounds preeeetty much like the definition of friendship to me. Then again, we’ve all watched Catfish. It’s far easier to get caught up in a fake reality than you might imagine.

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I personally have a far larger network of people online than I do in real life. I doubt any of you reading this are much different. I started out with first-hand friends on Facebook, then moved on to acquaintances and now interact with readers/followers/friends/fellow-bloggers worldwide! I speak with a lot of them regularly and feel a beautiful bond between myself and a select few. Some of the relationships I’ve cultivated online could be described as equally meaningful to me as my nearest and dearest and that’s by no means an exaggeration.

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Nevertheless, it frustrates me that I don’t come across such people at the gym, in the drugstore or at the local supermarket. It makes me doubt myself and my feelings. Am I unapproachable? Do I look better online than I do in real life? Are my words kinder when they’re typed out rather than said aloud? Why do I never physically bump into the likes of ‘my types’? You may think I’m joking around but these are genuine thoughts that enter my mind on a fairly regular basis.

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I’m interested to hear what you think. Do you have someone you call a friend that you have never, not even once, met? What makes them a real friend and how can you be sure?

 

6 thoughts on “Typing While Tipsy

  1. This was so well written and honestly it’s like you have just written down all of my thoughts that have popped into my head when it comes to the fact that is really is a hell of a lot easier to interact with other people and find like minded people online as opposed to in person. Also, I love the title of this post! Good work xo

    1. Thanks Angela! I’m so glad I’m not alone and that you can relate to some of the things I’m saying. I think we’ve put so many barriers up that the only time we dare to show our true selves, warts & all is… online (sometimes even under a sudo name, fake identity or completely anonymous)… which is kinda sad, because I’m sure there are like minded people living on the same streets as us that I’ll never get to meet. It’s cool to friend someone you’ve never met on Facebook, but odd to knock on your neighbours house to offer them some tea. The world isn’t what it used to be.

  2. Hm… The one time I made an actual friend online, it all changed several weeks along. We had been texting a lot and I thought I knew who this person was — then we talked on the phone and the illusions dropped away. She seemed totally different from how she came across in textual media, and not in a good way.

    So I think the ease of finding friends online is a combination of 1) having a much larger pool of people online to begin with, 2) having more efficient ways to connect with those who share our interests, and 3) having enough distance to fill in the blanks with fantasy…

    … And, as you pointed out, the erosion of face-to-face social skills.

    Nice post! Good food for thought.

    1. Interesting. If you don’t mind me asking, what compelled you to form a relationship online? Chance, curiosity.. something else? I find that likeminded people just gravitate towards me online more than they do in real life. I seem to attract the people I relate to in the virtual world but attract a total different type of person in real life. Could be because of the way I dress, talk… I’m honestly not sure. Still using this post as my own food for thought! Thanks for your comment, many thought-provoking points… Hope to see you back here again soon 🙂 All the best & Happy New Year! x

  3. I think part of it is convenience. It’s easier to find someone I share multiple interests with through the Internet than IRL. I had a friend for several months through a chatting app who lived in a country thousands of miles away. We talked about loads of things, from food to books to workplace drama. No, I couldn’t be too sure that she was who she said she was, but it was fun to have a penpal. Unfortunately, the app separated us after an update and I haven’t been able to talk to her since. The people I’m close to in person tend to be old classmates or people I met from a group with a specific interest in mind (such as writing clubs).

    1. I agree. Convenience is a biggie. Such a shame that we spend so much time online when we could be attending book clubs etc, don’t you think? Though, there’s something freeing about an online relationship. I find them really fulfilling… which possibly says something about me lol. I like that there’s little pressure I guess. It’s kinda sad that you lost touch. Who knows what it could have blossomed into! If she’s worth finding I hope you do eventually reconnect 🙂 Friendship is very precious. x

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