SHOP THE POST
OH HI GUYS - first thing first I'm writing this post in true October 2017 Millie Ryan fashion with a bloody PSL - the man at my local starbucks had some syrup leftover and knows how much I love them and I have never been filled with so much love or adoration for a 19 year old boy, like ever.
So internet friendships - they're bloody great aren't they? The internet has always been a really big and important part of my life, much like Dolly Alderton noted in her book, I too danced around my parents office to the sound of my broadband dialling up - actually that's a lie. I stared at my family's shared computer in a sort of pissed off grimacing stare, waiting for my line to connect and to be able to chat to the boys I fancied on MSN. I loved being able to chat to all sorts of people from around the world, people from schools I didn't go to, and browsing their myspace pages, sort of seeing how the other half lived.
Being a blogger / instagrammer / content creator, it's easy to suddenly fall into a trap where you look around and suddenly discover that the vast majority of your friendships were formed online.
Now don't get me wrong - I love aspects of this. I love being able to go to brunch and not be judged for the 57 flatlays of avocado on toast that I want to take from different angles because I'm hashtag basic. I love being able to get my phone out and start an instagram story and not being met with confused looks by people at the table around me, and I love having a group of people I can bitch to about how soul crushing the instagram algorithm is and all the things that PRs do that they shouldn't and why have I been added to the pepperami press list?
However, I've always been grateful for the non internet people in my life. The ones that force me to put down my phone, open my mouth and actually engage with something that doesn't involve social media.
So What exactly is a Non Internet Person?
Non Internet Pal
noun: Non internet pal; plural noun: Non internet pals
1. One of those people who y'know don't live their life by the rules of the gram and tell you to swipe up for AF links, and sometimes doesn't even have a Facebook profile.
“Oh you know this guy Peter I met on Bumble? He's not even ON Facebook.”
Social Media loner, Hater of influencers, private dude.
Of course there are levels to this, a non internet person could be anyone from someone who has their insta and FB accounts on a private lockdown to your pals who use them but not for a living to someone who is on a social media blackout with no accounts at all.
Having Time Offline with your Friends.
I once dated a guy who made me realise just how bad my habits with my phone are. We'd be watching a movie, and as usual I'd be paying attention but also scrolling through instagram and stopping to tell my friends just how babin they're looking in their new Topshop blazer or how agreeing that Grind definitely does one of the best Avocado on Toasts in London when he'd look at me with a 'Oh for God's sake.' pissed off stare and pause the movie. Telling me he'd only play it when my phone was down.
Now I won't lie - this made me really bloody angry. How dare he try and police my social media useage? It seemed almost controlling in a way. But a year later, reflecting on the issue, the reason it annoyed me most was because he made me realise just how uncomfortable I was, being without my phone. It was literally a struggle for me to watch a movie without being glued to it, I'm a bit of a social media addict and the non internet pals in my life are the ones who make me realise it.
It's okay to have friends that don't get what a bitch the algorithm is, and it's okay to discuss things aside from your growth strategy for 2018 and your 5 year plan to eventually go full time with your online empire and how this pitch is gonna knock the socks off of (insert dream brand here.) Ultimately it's not only okay to have friends that don't get your online life, I think it's necessary.
Having online friends is a great thing, especially in the influencer and blogger space. These friendships tend to move at the speed of light, simply because you already have so much in common. You suddenly have someone to quiz on wordpress when it's being a dick and not letting you upload photos the normal way and ask for advice on plugins and PR contacts and how to write a successful brand pitch or collaboration. But the greatest friendships I've made in this industry have always gone beyond that pretty damn quickly. Let's take Rhianna of Rhianna Olivia as an example. If you don't know Rhianna, she's a uber babe and Northern Lass from Leeds and creates amazing lifestyle content. Although my friendship with her began with blog related chat, it quickly moved on to bitching about boys, about how bloody good all food is and now it's at the stage where I routinely wake up to 57 messages in caps about why Derek chose Addison over Meredith and why did Izzy cut the wire? (Grey's Anatomy guys - it's an emotional journey for us all.)