Goodness, have our views on the internet changed!
When I first got dial-up, I was 14, it was 1998, and AOL was all about taking over the world (if not with connectivity then at least with the 700 CDs they sent to your house each month). My parents had two rules: Don't tie up the phone lines (broken immediately), and never meet someone from online that you don't already know.
Years later, as an adult with a cable modem, their advice seems pretty dated. In fact, society's gone from never meeting strangers online to doing all our dating on Tinder and asking people we've never known to give us rides from one place to another. Our only requirements? That they be nearby and have at least a 4.7 driver rating. (This is only for adults, though! Don't let your kids meet strangers from Minecraft!)
Friendships have changed as well.
For years, everyone debated whether the people you talk to online — in chat, in games, on Skype — were actual friends or just people behind a computer screen. Now, some of our best pals are those we know from online, proving that humans can connect across states, countries, and oceans.
Want more (very adorable) proof? Here's a video of two lifelong friends who are meeting in person for the first time.
This story, which started on Reddit and has now gone viral nearly everywhere, goes something like this: Reddit user Core330 (Corey Walker) and his best friend live hours and hours away from each other. So they Skype. And since they both have daughters, they've introduced the kids — Kylie and Jalyssa — via internet as well. The result? A four-year friendship that's been screen-only.
Then something amazing happened. After years of trying to make a real-life meeting happen, Walker and Jalyssa drove down to meet Kylie for her birthday. The twist? Neither Jalyssa nor Kylie knew it was happening. What followed was an adorable surprise that — well, just have some tissues handy.
Look what happened:
Just kidding: Here's the real, heart-warming video. Note how it starts with the most important question: "Are you real?" (Always ask that! You never know when it's just a lizard person trying to fool you into a state of false security!)
TAG YOUR BESTIES I’m sharing a special moment today: My daughter @kyliemyricks and her best friend @princesslyssw have spoken everyday for the last 3-4 years on FaceTime (thank you @apple) and never met in person. (Their dad’s are childhood friends and hooked it up) so this week, for @kyliemyricks’s birthday @core330 drove 7 hours to us to make sure they met 🙀. It was a total surprise to both of them. Earlier, Kylie fell off her bike and hurt her knee real bad (why she’s limping) so this really cheered her up, one of the best birthday surprises ever!!! 💖😫✌🏽I’m so happy right now, I shed another tear lol. I’m so happy for my babies. I uploaded a vlog of the moments before and after the surprise. Me and @stalley we’re so suspicious LOL. You can watch it on the link in my bio. 💖 #apple #facetime #blackgirlmagic #shotoniphone #imnotcryingyourecrying
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You ever see a hug that long? Here's the full video if you're looking to turn your day from lackluster to "so full of joy, I gotta take off early and go sit in a park and contemplate life or something."
Kylie and Jalyssa got to spend the night together, and it appears that their friendship has only grown stronger. They found (nice, friendly, platonic) love in an online place, and it seems like the recipe for a lifelong friendship. They even wore matching pajamas!
Never underestimate the power of friendship.
Of course, the internet loves Kylie and Jalyssa. They've made it onto "Today" and both regular folks and luminaries have been loving it (Marc. A Cherry said it was the best thing any of us would see today). One Reddit user even talked about how they'd been questioning how hard their life had been before they saw the video. Watching two little girls have their dreams come true, though? It made it all worth it. "I needed this," the user wrote. Didn't we all?
In the spirit of this adorable video, maybe take a second to reach out to a friend you haven't talked to in a while today. Or call up someone who you love. After all, if there's anything these best friends should inspire, it's a reminder to tell the people in your life how wonderful and important they are. Now if you'll excuse me, I have something in my eye. (It's tears, OK? It's tears.)