Just yesterday, a couple of my co-workers at the high school where I work were taking about how one of our students only had friends online and that it was a “fantasy world.” They both thought that the student should spend less time online. While I do think that it’s important for people to learn how to make friends with people they can hang out with in person, I also think that the Internet can provide loners with connections – both deep and shallow – that they might not have “in real life.” We cannot diminish these relationships just because they are built online.
I suggested all of this in my conversation with my co-workers and ultimately, we agreed that it would be better to encourage the kid to join groups of other like-minded kids so that xe can extend these online friendships into in person connections.
People often toss around the idea that the internet is “not real life,” as though this thing — made by people to allow those people to share and interact with other people — is just the playtime before more serious business. The real business.
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