Teach Me How To Make Internet Friends

Growing up I was a voracious reader, I would have to convince my mom to take me to the library so I could stock up on a stack of books to take with me everywhere. Thankfully she was easily convinced. I would read constantly, and I vividly remember my young self racing through tests so I could turn in my work and read about dragons and interesting ladies with swords. I performed decently in school because I had a good motivaotr.

Then, one day, I went to college. I bought my first laptop, then my first smart phone. It became so easy to distract myself with screens and social media and streaming services. I did worse in school because it was so easy to find another cheap distraction. Even now I keep opening a new tab to check Reddit or whatever. Technology is amazing, but also… fuck fast media. Re-learning how to sit and read the same story for hours at a time is so difficult when you’ve been trained to rapidly consume snippets of information.

This recent realization has cemented my resolve to take things slow and revisit old ideals. Last year around August I discovered BookTube and decided to start reading again. I discovered the analog film community and fell down the rabbit hole of analog photography. I have my collection of records and tapes and physical media that force me to slow down and enjoy an album (and pay artists for their work). I started ordering things on Amazon at the slowest shipping rate and also slowed my online ordering so I started buying things in store instead. It’s 2018 and I love being able to Google the number of children Angelina Jolie has on a device that lives in my pocket, but sometimes you have to relearn how to have patience.

All that to say this: I never learned how to make friends on the internet. I regularly visit online communities, but barely participate. Early 2000’s Sarah was a timid little nerd that still knew how to chat on Neopets forums about Harry Potter theories and favorite Pokemon, but 2018 Sarahjane is clueless. I have created and deactivated my personal Twitter account more times than I can count. How does it even work? You just…reply to Tweets? You talk to people? Yikes. These things have legitimately terrified me, but no longer! This is my blog post about making an effort. Do you have a blog (or a Twitter account)? What do you do with these platforms?

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