Why I Love Internet Culture

Monday, November 2, 2015

When I talk to many of my "irl" friends, they never seem to understand this Internet culture I'm obsessed with. How can you live so excitedly online? It's just a place for cat videos and rude trolls....why are you obsessed with it?

Me and Leandra
Me and Hayley
I love this culture so much, especially the YouTube community which I have especially been integrated into. We find some of our best friends through this community. We don't have to lie to each other, we don't have to hide, we can be vulnerable, we can be scared. We can have insecurities, have fears, have questions. We can also be passionate, have wild dreams, be excited about the world. The friends we make online are just as important and real to us as our other friends. They are the friends we truly choose ourselves. They are the friends who understand this whole culture, the one's we can talk to about anything and everything without fear of someone finding out you spilled your secrets. The one's who understand what it's like to have anxiety, or lose a parent, or be depressed. These are the friends who it doesn't matter if you never meet them or see them every day, you love them just the same.

I recently attended "The Amazing Tour is Not On Fire" (Dan Howell might come fight me for all of those capitol letters if I'm being honest), which is a theatrical stage show put on by these two popular internet nerds (cult leaders) called "Dan and Phil". While I was there, I saw girls crying because they finally met their best friend after years, I saw people hugging and laughing, no one was unhappy. There were 3000 people, and everyone had similar interests, everyone understood what it was like to have issues in our lives, everyone wanted to make everyone else feel loved and happy- all because of their shared passion for these two dorks who post silly videos online about their lives. And this isn't the only time I've seen this, every convention, every gathering, every meet up- we see people meeting who have been waiting for this moment (sometimes for years), people who have actively decided they care enough about each other to put in maximum effort to keep their friendship alive despite their distance.

Our culture is so understanding, even for our "celebrities". Troye Sivan is a musical sensation from Australia (listen to Wild you won't regret it), but he started out making videos as well. He shared his passion but he also shared his fears- he put himself out there online and made himself vulnerable. Now, as he tours the globe, not only do I see fans getting excited and being insanely proud of him, I see people tweeting him saying "make sure you eat enough" "make sure you're sleeping" "if you're sick don't preform, we will understand, we want you to be healthy". Our culture takes care of it's own, we are protective just as much as we are passionate.

We encourage each other so much. Want to start your own channel? "Do it! I'll watch you, you'll be so good!" Want to go to uni? "YEAH GO FOR IT, YOU CAN DO IT". Stressed about your home life? "Here is a meme to make you laugh so you can forget for a few minutes". This community is encouraging and uplifting (despite a few bad eggs), and it encourages people to follow their craziest dreams and gives them the moral support to say YOU CAN DO IT!! When I'm stressed and it's 2AM, I know my friend on the other side of the world is awake and wants to talk it out with me. We don't judge. One minute I will be talking about the relative likelihood of an asteroid hitting the Earth and killing us all, and the next minute I'm sending screenshots of the rarest pepe and laughing till I cry. We have no boundaries, and I personally think that's a good thing.

Sure, there are problems in the community, we have loads of issues, but I think our positives are also something to be noted. The positives of being in this community make the problems worth solving, make the issues worth handling. Next time you're confused as to why someone seems so "obsessed with the Internet", remember it's not the Internet we love, it's the person on the other side of the screen.

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