My experience with strangers on the internet


Sruthi Ramesh

Discord is a fusion of a traditional message and Skype.

Jim Tarrant, Reporter

It’s not a stretch to say that most people have some kind of social media account. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, social media functions as a tool to mostly connect people that already know each other. Although people may filter the less-desirable parts of their personality out when engaging through the internet, most people don’t go out of their way to interact with complete strangers. But in my personal experience, coming to be familiar with an individual that you have never met outside of cyberspace is a much more unique and interesting use of the internet.

I have been talking with this group of guys for a little under a year now. We all met on an application called Discord, which is essentially a fusion of Skype and a traditional message board. We’re all in a group-chat that consists of 10 people, including myself. There from all over the place: Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, and even Australia. We don’t necessarily play games with each other all the time (although that’s typically the subject of our conversations), but we hang out in voice chat whenever we have the night off from work or school. 

Even though I haven’t ever actually met any of these people, I find my interactions with them equally as interesting as the ones with people I’m intimately familiar with. My relationship with them is not fulfilling in the same way relationships with real people are, but it doesn’t make inherently lesser. Talking with people who don’t know who I am outside of the bubble that is the internet leviates a lot of the worries that come with physical conversation. I don’t have to worry about spending too much money on food, wearing fashionable clothes, or having good body language. We don’t talk about life or politics; we spend the night trying to make each other laugh as hard as possible. It’s a very relaxing experience for whenever I’m at home and don’t have much to do.  

If I were to give any piece of advice to someone who would like to try to meet people online, it would probably be to take chances. Being safe on the internet is obviously important, but because you can remain completely anonymous, you have a lot more freedom with what you can reveal about yourself. Along with this, you should also try and seek out a community centered around something you are interested in. People you meet on the internet can be from anywhere in the world, so it’s nice to have a single topic to constantly talk about.