These are the days of the invisible friends. And I’m not talking about supernatural beings here, not at all. Our invisible friends are those we meet through social media. Most of these people we will never meet in person, so they remain «invisible». But that does not mean they are not important. In fact, I find that my life has become much richer after I reached out through social media channels like Facebook and also, recently, through my Youtube channel.
I know it’s fashionable to say that spending time on social media is a bit sad. But let me tell you something: I was one of those kids who was always alone. I tried my best, but no matter what, I remained without friends. Those years would have been a lot easier and less traumatic if I had been able to communicate with people through social media. People growing up today have the option of reaching out to likeminded kids. And yes, there are lots of cyberbullies out there, but at least there is now the option of not being completely alone. And I think that’s a good thing.
My invisible friends have been there for me in my darkest hours. They have sent me kind and encouraging messages when I went through hard times. They have congratulated me on my birthdays and encouraged me to keep pushing towards my goals.
Some of my invisible friends I have actually met, and so far these friendships have resulted in a bushcraft weekend, a trip to New York, the establishment of a Viking reenactment group and lots of other real life social meetings as well.
So to all my invisible friends: Thank you! I’m here for you, as I know you’re there for me.
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen