1. Clothing Optional
“Frandz coming? MUST FIND PANTS” is something you will never have to say again. Even if you have desensitized your human comrades to the sight of exposed buttcheeks (they need air to feel alive OKAY), there’s something rare and precious about having a blog comments war over who is the most talented backup singer in 20 Feet From Stardom in pantsless privacy. (Answer: Tata Vega)
2. No commitment.
“This conversation about pizza toppings has become a drain on my social reserves. I’m going to leave now” is a thing you can say without witnessing the emotional fallout on CookieGrl7’s tearstained, probably middle-aged man face. Or if you feel like keeping in line with “social etiquette” for old-times-back-when-I-had-real-friends’ sake, you can make up some lame excuse about an orthodontist appointment that your mom keeps moving (ugh aren’t moms are the WORST) to conflict with virtual gaming dates. The shield of the interwebz means that your friend will never see the weird eye twitch that happens when you lie and insult your mother like a little punk.
3. Never miss out on a comeback.
Are your virtual homies dousing you in haterade? Are you afraid of losing your message board cred and panicking about how to respond? Never fear—unlike in real life, you can take an extended pee break to ponder the witty possibilities, or Google some if you’re especially lame. Winston Churchill, for instance, is full of zingers: “You’re ugly. And what’s more, you’re disgustingly ugly. But when I wake up, I’ll be sober, and you’ll still be ugly.” 20th CENTURY POLITICAL FIGURE BURN BITCH.
4. They will never see your room.
Maybe you don’t WANT to dismantle the pizza box Jenga tower that you have to tiptoe around like a sleeping animal. Let’s be honest, that thing is a work of art and direct contradiction of gravitational laws. Friendship is not a good enough reason to stop living in squalor, and luckily virtual friends will never have the opportunity to judge your living conditions or nominate you for Hoarders. In fact, my virtual friends have been so thoughtful in their lack of intervention that I am bequeathing my empty water bottle collection to them in the event of my untimely death by piles of crap.
5. Engage in conflict from a safe distance.
Did that virtual friend just dis another virtual friend in a passive-aggressive tweet? Damn, I’m gonna favorite that and send a subtle passive-aggressive signal of my allegiance and commitment to nearly imperceptibly hating on that virtual bitch. Then I’m gonna murder her on Game of Thrones Ascent and starve the Neopet I promised to watch while she was on vacation. WUT ARE CONSEQUENCES?
6. Do whatever you want with your face.
You know when you’re talking to real people and you need to morph your face into socially acceptable expressions of feeling? Well pulling off a convincing display of sadness when someone tells you that their hamster they got in fifth grade and can’t live without just died is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes I don’t feel like moving my face muscles, and virtual friends couldn’t care less that you’re smiling at LITERALLY THE SADDEST NEWS EVER—THAT HAMSTER WAS A BETTER FRIEND THAN YOU’LL EVER BE. Yeah I wouldn’t argue with that.
7. Personal space.
Why are you hugging me, yeah not really into arm links, DEAR GOD NOT THE BACK RUB TRAIN PLEASE NO. Real friends just never stop TOUCHING each other, am I right? The personal bubble is a very real boundary for me, and one of the main perks of virtual friends is the sweet, sweet distance between you and their actual bodies. I think I’m a better friend when I don’t have to share my oxygen.
8. No sharing food.
Much like dogs, real friends are programmed to pop their eyes out of their skulls and whimper at the sound of a crinkling wrapper. Unfortunately, the contents of those wrappers are not poisonous to real friends, so you’re pretty much obligated to share “a bite” that we all know is going to be at least half. This works out better with candy that comes in a variety of flavors, as you can simply pawn off the worst ones under the guise of generosity (sry yellow starbursts).
9. You can make your life look perfect.
Virtual humans carefully construct their online lives to fulfill unattainable fantasies and compensate for everything that sucks about living in their parents’ basement because the family dog got their old room. And better yet, virtual peers will never question the validity of your photoshopped face next to hubby of five years Taylor Kitsch. (No those are not the sextuplets from Jon and Kate Plus 8—I GAVE BIRTH TO THEM DAMMIT. Riggins will never leave me for Ed Hardy.)
10. Seeing your real friends becomes the actual best.
OH MY GOD I FORGOT I EVEN HAD A VOICE OR THAT WORDS CAN BE SPOKEN AND NOT TYPED. Hang on let me find my pants—back rub train anyone?!