We live in a day in age where social media has taken over our lives. Our generation is consumed with being online. Instagram likes, constant twitter updates, sharing viral videos and funny memes on Facebook have become a very bad habit.
We wake up in the morning and the first thing we do is reach over to check our phone. We are all guilty of it. Social media has changed the way we communicate. We can connect with people all over the world at the tips of our fingers. We have the opportunity to share, communicate, and connect with anyone, anywhere in a fast and easy way.
Studies show that 76 percent of all teens use social media. Research also finds that the three most popular social media sites for millennials are Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. However, one medium that should get more recognition is Twitter. When I was in high school, Twitter was extremely popular. Back in the day I loved following bands and connecting with fans. After being introduced to Twitter, I was hooked. The first people I followed were musicians, because I liked to see what my favorite artists were up to. What was even better? Being able to connect with other fans.
Engaging with people online who have a similar music taste as you is so much fun. I kept up with Twitter daily, following new people and talking with fans about new music, updates, hot topics in the music industry etc.
I had a great experience connecting with a girl who was a hardcore fan of Justin Bieber like me (what can I say? I have Bieber fever). I remember being in a group conversation on Twitter through a trending hashtag about girls who were Justin’s One Less Lonely Girl at his shows. I found a girl’s account and her icon was a picture of her and Justin on stage with roses. I knew I needed to interact with her ASAP.
So I started a conversation with her. Ever since then, we became instant Twitter besties. We tweeted each other every day. I found out that her icon of her and the Biebs was a face swap, but it was her dream to be on stage with him and at the time, it was the same for me. We shared other similar interests that we needed more than 140 characters to chat about. We exchanged phone numbers and Facebook’s and it took off from there. She lived in California.
I connected with another girl from Twitter a few years later, through another hashtag about Justin Bieber and One Direction. She lived in New York.
These two new friends and I always talked about meeting up, but we never did.
Now there are some people that are skeptical about talking to other people online. But according to the Pew Research Center in an article from Teen Vogue, “57% of teens have connected with someone on social media or through online games that they wouldn’t have necessarily met in real life.” In this generation, connecting with people online is considered the norm.
There are probably many stories from people who have created relationships through social media. For Sienna Lopez, she has a similar story like mine but she got to meet her new friends.
She has a few Twitter best friends she connected with, being a fan of One Direction and it all started with a hashtag.
“I liked tweets saying if I wanted to be in a group chat for the San Diego concert. It was 26 people in a group chat talking about the concert and where we live,” Sienna said.
None of the girls lived in Arizona, most of them lived in California and two lived in Texas. They spent a whole year just texting and getting to know each other.
Then on the night of the One Direction concert in San Diego, Sienna met one of her Twitter best friends.
“I cried for like an hour because we always talked on Facetime about meeting each other,” Sienna said. Without them meeting in person at the concert, they wouldn’t have been as close.
They still talk every day. Sienna says it has been almost two years since they started talking online, and it has been one year since they met in person.
My sister Kendra Greno has a unique story about connecting with a Youtuber.
It all started in 2014 when she became close with a local singer named Josh Metzler. Kendra and her friends went to one of his concerts in Arizona. She got to go on stage since it was her birthday. After the show, they exchanged numbers and started texting. He told her he was going on tour with other singers and Youtubers and told her to come.
The day of the tour she met Payte Parker, a Youtuber from Texas, who caught her attention. They started talking and he followed her on Twitter after that night. A few months later, Payte Parker went on YouNow, a live broadcast, and they started talking on there. He had a contest and if you won, you got a facetime call with him.
“I won the facetime call and ever since then it clicked,” Kendra said.
After that, Kendra sent him letters and packages in the mail. He would DM her on Twitter and added her on Snapchat.
“We have been friends ever since,” Kendra said.
Last January, Kendra won tickets to see him in LA on tour.
“We reunited and ever since then it has been uphill. I am seeing him again in two months on tour,” Kendra said.
This is just another example of how social media can create the best of friendships; Kendra’s cool story about meeting a Youtuber who she now calls one of her friends and Sienna’s heartwarming story about meeting her best friend in California. These relationships were created online and were able to keep in touch using social media.
It isn’t a new thing that social media builds connections and friendships. It is amazing to hear stories of teens meeting their online besties. It goes to show that anything is possible on social media.
Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.Read more in Being HER