Benefits and dangers from online made friends

Benefits+and+dangers+from+online+made+friends

Graphic by Maddie Smart

Growing up, our parents always warned us that strangers online were dangerous. However, with the many social media platforms our world has today, it is quite simple to find a new friend over the internet. They may become your best friend or just someone to talk to on occasion.

Finding a friend online could either be the best choice one could make, or the worst choice. In my case, it was one of the best choices I ever made. In the summer of 2018, I met one of my closest friends on the app that is now known as TikTok. Online friends serve a different type of friendship than the usual hometown friends people can see every week.

When someone has a friend that lives halfway across the country, it can have some challenges along the way. These include getting to know one another, dealing with time changes, building a true friendship over the phone and actually being able to meet. For my friend and me, our friendship has had a smooth ride other than being able to meet. She lives in Massachusetts, which is over a 24-hour car ride away. We had plans to meet this summer, but we were not able to because of the pandemic.

A good way to grow an online friendship and get to know each other better is by talking on the phone. My friend and I Facetime almost every day to stay in touch. The good thing about having an online friend is that they are someone to tell things that could not necessarily be told to someone that lives in the same state.

Although meeting someone online could have a great outcome, it could also lead to very dangerous actions. The dangers of meeting someone over the internet can include sexual predators, thieves, blackmailers and the fear of not knowing who is actually behind the phone. Anyone can act like someone they are not when they are behind any electronic device, and it is very easy to make good conversations flow over text. It is very important to really know who is talking before giving them any personal information such as phone numbers, family information and where one is from. 

Meeting a friend online can mostly have a very good outcome, but could also end in very dangerous situations happening in ones personal life.