Change The Way You See Friendship

Change The Way You See Friendship | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles
If you told me that I'd make good friends by virtue of the internet, I would have laughed in your face. It's scary. That's dangerous. You're begging for trouble. There's a stigma around forging such connections through cyberspace and I for one can't blame people. But believe it or not I managed to find kindred souls, in most cases by happenstance, and this has changed the way I see friendship forever.

Case #1: Ctrl + F | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles
It was July of 2013 and I was staring at my computer screen, reading this British blog. The post mentioned how at times this hobby can be a one way street. It's always the readers getting to know the person behind the keyboard. She says, "You know so much of me and I so little of you and sometimes that feels a little unbalanced." Then she listed down a few things her readers could answer about themselves. One of those questions read, "Aside from Sprinkle of Glitter, what is your favorite blog?"

Obviously, I typed my way into the comment box and clicked "ok" but everyone's thoughts were swarming by the minute so the site buffered. I hit refresh and to check if my reply went through I went down the "Ctrl + F" route and typed in my first name. Instead of finding my comment, I found Emma. She said "I feel like I haven't found my favorite blog yet but I do really enjoy Anne's Scribbles and Doodles". 

This blog was only four months old then so for someone to actually say they enjoy it, much less have found it, really surprised me. So I took it upon myself to contact her and say my thanks. We've exchanged loads of emails after and even added each other on Facebook. We've talked about things like music, theater, birthday parties, love, overcoming bullies, university and so much more. We've exchanged random photographs of our days. I actually think of her as my Kiwi little sister. One day, given the chance and the finances, we hope to actually meet in person but for now we'd be each other's cyber chummies.

Case #2: Gan Girls | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles
In 2014, one of the digital influencers I idolize invited a few of her readers/followers to an intimate dinner to celebrate her birthday. With the help of people I call my miracles, I got the chance to fly from Cebu to Manila to attend said event. I'm a full blown introvert. I haven't traveled solo before nor have I attended a party where I knew not a single soul. It was exciting and scary at the same time but more of the former. I guess there's an unexplained thrill of going out of your comfort zone.

I came earlier than the call time and got to meet a few of the other early birds. We were sat in a table together with some of the other attendees. It was a blessing of sorts to have found friends in them because a year later, I was packing my stuff and moving to the capital city. The girls I met during the event became my first friends in the jungle that is Manila. We were people from all walks of life with varying passions, careers and age. I've never seen a group so dynamic and yet so alike. I used to only see their names in the comments section of said digital influencer's blog and now here we are. We've gone on a few dates and are planning for more.

Plus would you believe that when I got sick early this year and had to undergo a series of operations, I surprisingly met one of these girls inside the surgery room? And honestly, nothing feels more calming than knowing that someone you personally know and trust was there to help save your life.

Case #3: Blog-a-family | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles
Joining a blogging community was an accident of sorts for me. I was scrolling through and staring blankly at my screen until I saw this Facebook group on my sidebar. Curiosity got the better of me and I clicked "Join". What I didn't realize was that I signed myself up for a treat.

It was with this family that I met new people, kindred souls with the same passions and hobbies and individuals from different cities who speak different languages and traveled to places my ears have not heard of. It was also through it that I've seen the faces behind the blogs that I binge read during my down time. I've learned a lot about this hobby and craft through them. In fact, it was through this community that I scored my first blogging gig. 

To date, we'd often check up on each other through the comments on our sites, in social media and of course old school texts and calls. (Did I just say old school? Ha!) We'd plan dates too (and sometimes travels) and run to each other during events. I've honestly found myself a family in them.

Change The Way You See Friendship | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles

So what's my point?

You see, I used to think that real friendships were only those built and forged through personal and face to face encounters. I've been told that relationships with a digital origin wouldn't last, that they're superficial and fake. I beg to disagree. I have experience as evidence now.

The internet may not be the safest of all places to look for chummies but it sure isn't as bad as what many would assume it is. If you know where to look and given this so called "destiny" I guess it's quite an interesting place. Plus, we cannot deny that it's a good avenue for us to reach out to our peers when distance makes it impossible to connect.

Change The Way You See Friendship | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles

But then, it doesn't stop there.

The internet has been an avenue for me to *initially* forge connections with people but its digital nature still leaves me hanging. "Bitin" as what we'd call it. It's a good tool to get the ball rolling but it's not everything and relationships shouldn't be all revolving around it.

I'm thankful that cyberspace brought me to people and me to them but I still prefer hearing their laughter over coffee, sharing banters, going on trips, falling in line for this ice cream everyone's been raving about, shopping, talking about life and love and the things that go in our heads at 2:00 am. 

You still have to reach out. Meet as much as possible. Take loads of photographs. Print them out and hang them on your dresser (or blast them on Instagram and what have you). And in cases where distance puts us apart, we manage to send each other snippets of our days and adventures no matter how random, seemingly boring or full blown adventurous they may be. 

Case in point my good friend Jewel whom I met by virtue of Case #3. She went on a trip to Mountain Province lately and has been blasting me with photos taken from her phone. She actually invited me to come with her but I was short on the budget so I had to decline. *cue tears* Thank goodness for mobile photography she got to sort of bring me with her. She sent breathtaking shots of her trip using her Huawei P9. I thought she took them with a DSLR but I was wrong. Apparently, the Huawei P9's camera is co-engineered with Leica. It has dual lenses that produces high quality photos and allows users to take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored and light painting photos.

Change The Way You See Friendship | Anne's Scribbles and Doodles

I guess my point in all of these blabber is that friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places even the internet. Caution should always be there but fear and prejudice should never hinder you from reaching out to people, digitally, physically and emotionally. The internet has changed the way I see friendship forever. Who knew a like, a heart, an email or a comment would translate to an actual handshake, a tap on the shoulder, a gazillion photos and a warm hug?


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