Oh, social media, how we love you. Let us count the ways! Ha, just kidding. Ain’t nobody got time for that, and your ego is swollen enough already.
Just suffice it to say that most people we know with a few minutes to spare can be found perusing various social media sites via Wi-Fi nowadays rather than leafing through this month’s issue of Reader’s Digest. In fact, there are a large number of people lately who confess that most (if not all) of their best friends are primarily people they’ve met online.
Of course, there’s also a portion of the population who think that’s super-weird (maybe even slightly pathetic). So to those people, let us explain why our internet friends are so amazing:
No housekeeping necessary.
No last-minute “Omg I can’t let the house be seen like this” flight of the bumblebee cleaning attacks required. Just tilt the webcam toward the other wall, away from the piles of laundry you haven’t folded yet. Problem solved!
There’s no dress code.
Did I say the house was a mess? I meant I’m a mess. Ain’t nobody need to see this spectacular fashion fail, either. My internet friends care not a bit that my hair is in a messy bun, I haven’t put on eyeliner in two weeks, my leggings have a hole where I snagged them on corner of the broken clothes basket, and I can’t even find my comfy bra. Seriously, I haven’t seen that thing in three days, and it’s the only one I have that doesn’t cut off my circulation. Luckily, none of that matters when I log in to get some adult interaction that I desperately need.
Kids underfoot is a non-issue.
I don’t need to get a sitter or lock the kids in their room to have a semi-adult conversation. I can log in anytime of the day or night with no appointment necessary, and without having to yell like a maniac over the din to be heard.
Less filtering required for foot-in-mouth syndrome.
I’m less likely to type something accidentally hurtful than run off at the mouth in person. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m better with the printed words than the spoken ones, and I think a lot of it has to do with the time to think in between opening my mouth versus typing a message and pressing “send.” The backspace and edit buttons can be relationship-savers. I wish I had a rewind button in real life for when my mouth overloads common decency, but we can’t have everything, I guess.
Three-way calling? Girl, please.
The internet means that now we can have as many people in the same conversation as there are stars in the sky, and no one has to feel left-out or missing something. Just scroll up, catch up, and get in where you fit in.
Different time zones? No problem.
Actually, it’s pretty fantastic. The days of worrying about long-distance phone bills are pretty much nonexistent now, so we don’t have to worry about taking out a second mortgage to catch up with friends and family around the globe. And even if you’re on the other side of the planet just starting your day as I’m tucking my kids in for the night, we can still chat online, without having to hide in the pantry whispering.
Hookups can be more meaningful.
It’s way easier to connect with new people online than it is in person. When you take out all the superficial bullshit that normally attracts (or repels) people at first glance and replace that with common interests and well-articulated words on a page, human interaction takes on a whole new level of “you get me!” that transcends class, race, income level, etc.
It’s easier to be nice to people online.
Even if you’re rolling your eyes at their latest dumbassery, it’s easier to keep those lips zipped when they’re not standing right in front of you regaling you with the most current episode of The Poor Choices of Our Lives. For people who have problems with their brain-to-mouth filter (ahem, that would be me again, guilty), this can go a long way toward not seeming like the judgmental twat that none of us want to be but can’t help sounding like sometimes.
It’s easier to deal with assholes online.
It’s easier to think of snappy comebacks when the hostility isn’t nose-to-nose. Or you could, um, take the high road and ignore them. I know — where’s the fun in that? I’m just saying, if you want to get all technical about it, there is the option to walk away or ignore it and act like they didn’t just say what you clearly just read.
Total honesty here: It’s easier to lie online.
(See what I did there?) That doesn’t mean create a fake profile and become an internet phony. But sometimes when people text or call, the messages they leave are so banal or inane that I just don’t know how to (or if I even should) reply to them. I might need a minute (or a day or two. Sometimes I don’t brain very well). But the damnedest thing about these new smartphones is that once you open a text, it shows that it’s been read, so you’re kind of obligated to say something. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or various other forums, that’s a big fat “Get out of commenting FREE” card. (Unless you’re tagged. Bitches love to tag. Don’t tag me, bro!)
It’s a lot easier to pretend to be less of slovenly blob online too. Really, I totally don’t mind admitting that I’m about to sack out with an entire bag of Cheetos and binge watch the entire second season of House of Cards after the kids go to bed. To a select audience, of course.
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