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As a kid, I vividly remember my parents and teachers constantly telling me “don’t talk to people on the internet that you don’t know, they could be stalkers or murderers and you’ll get kidnapped”. I think this fear is still apparent but is it all that bad still? Over the summer I met some of the most amazing people and made some of the closest friends all online. These people are all so different and are from different parts of the globe, if it weren’t for the internet I would’ve never met them.

Social media platforms like TikTok and Discord have been most apparent in my discovery of new friends. Finding people with similar interests is the most exciting thing ever and learning new things as well. For example, I have made friends in the UK, Australia, and different states across the US who have not only been there for me but also have taught me so much about the world. While we are able to travel more freely now compared to during the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s still not possible to go meet everyone without the fear of getting trapped in a different country with the new Delta variant spreading rapidly. I’m learning so much about all these different places without ever having to leave the comfort of my own home. It makes the world feel a lot more connected.
While we should be safe with who we are disclosing our personal information to people we don’t know well enough, there is still room to have fun and make some wonderful connections. We may never get to experience being able to travel the world whether it’s because of financial situations, medical situations, whatever may happen. The internet is giving us the opportunity to share our experiences and common interests with people in order to bring the world together. I have been so successful at finding a group of people that I know I can call no matter what. I’ve been there for people through milestones and they have been there for me.

Brooke is an English education major at IUP and plans to graduate in spring 2022. Alongside Her Campus, she has also performed with the IUP Dance Theater and is part of the Kappa Delta Pi honors society and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
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