I’ve noticed something in my social life that started a few years ago.
As my friends and I "grow up" we actually have had less time for each other. We have jobs, school, relationships, and massively different schedules. Thus it's been hard to have regular friend time.
And this is a obvious part of growing up. You sort of just understand that this drifting apart will happen. Though I think it might affect me differently than a lot of my friends.
Compared to my friends I’m incredibly introverted. It doesn't come naturally to me to have wide network of friends that I keep in regular contact, and the "how are you doing" chats that come with it. As an aside, I've always been baffled by people feeling the need to ask me "how are you"? It's not as if I'm going to talk to them about the personal details of my day right then.
I’ve also realize that the friends that I do have, none are my best friend. I can't tell them everything that's going on in my life or what's going on in my head, either because they wouldn't understand, or their personal views are do different than my own. And thus online, I find people who are more in tune with me.
On the internet it’s easy to make friends. I talk to a lot of people through social media/email/skype and consider us at least acquaintances. The thing is though, while I have plenty of internet friends, I don't have deep relationships with any of them. First because of we’re not physically together, and second because their are so many.
The internet propagates a very extroverted mode of friendship. That is a wide network of people that you keep in contact with to varying degrees of depth. (this isn’t to say extroverts don’t do deep relationships, simply that they have a much wider network of friendships).
Having friendships like that is difficult for me. By default my personality is to not talk to people. I don’t enjoy water-cooler friendships, how we seem to make small-talk a priority and that's the extent of friendship.
Though, to be clear, I have definitely loved every connection I’ve made on the internet, and I treasure each person that I’ve gotten to know, so don’t get me wrong.
To bring a point to this rambling mess, it seems to me that online friendships and communities encourage a much more extroverted lifestyle in the connections you make and the friendships you form. Reflecting on that, I can start to see the discontent in my personal life. Maybe it's because all I really have are water-cooler friendships, and I’m miss having a friend that’ll come over at 11pm and just talk about life.