i didnt read any of this but have you ever read homestuck.
i think the best part of homestuck is the fact that, really until nearly after the end of act 5, the characters don’t really speak together. like sure, we see dave and jade kind of hanging out on lofaf, doing the frog breeding thing, but the important thing to note with that is that we don’t see dialogue of that event. when we see characters talking, there is always a barrier between them, whether it be via an instant messenging device or a dream bubble, or fuck maybe they’re even asleep.
and i really think this kind of speaks to the strangeness of having internet friends. these are people who exist to you via text. maybe youve spoken to them on a skype chat, or maybe you’ve traded selfies or two. this friendship, however, despite having no physical contact is not any lesser than any other friendship. homestuck goes out of its way to show us this, through the strong bonds the characters have formed as they traipse about sburb and almost consistently miss moments where they could pause and have a real chat with each other.
i can understand why a lot of people were angry with act 6, because it did away with that barrier between the characters in a lot of the cases. instead of interacting through different mediums, the characters now interact on a “real” level, real here meaning physical. however, to kind of muddy it up, hussie splits the characters up in such a way that no one is completely comfortable where they are. new friendships are formed, at least in the meteor. in john and jade on that fucking spaceship, we see the growth of john, our main character, our near avatar, into what one could actually call a real teen boy. he’s angry and disaffected, confused about the things he once loved, unable to communicate his displeasure that the Memories of Events do not Match the Realities he is going through.
the alphas, however, offer something different than the beta kids. the alpha kids are separated not only by geographical distance, but also by time. dirk and roxy, as you may know, exist hundreds of years in the future. this is another layer of space between the characters, yet despite this space, their friendships only grow.
and whats interesting is the relationship between caliborn and calliope and the kids. these friendships that they form, even though i shudder to call what caliborn feels as anything near friendship, irrevocably changed them. most cherubs, it can be assumed, do not have the luxury of a trollian client, nor do they have the Luxury or being able to easily communicate with themselves. these friendships, however distanced and filled with space, change them into something almost unlike cherub, almost human.
calliope, while certainly the “good half” if one can even call a cherub Good in the human sense, would not have been the same person had she not hungered for the kinds of friendships that she saw in her reading of homestuck. the separation between these friends was meaningless to her, because even having friends was something new and exciting, nearly anathema to her species. ultimately, however, it is her friendships that cause her to weaken, cause her to think she could ever make a pact, meaningful or otherwise with her brother.
caliborn, certainly the “evil half” although i struggle to define any other Red Cheeked Cherub as being evil in any way a human can understand, is, too, changed by these friendships. his friendship with Dirk nets him the first look at his juju, at the repository for his soul. through dirk, he is able to build the leg that he uses to replace what he has to bite off to escape. and it is funny, then, that friendship only really benefitted the cherub who did not want it, who considered it disgusting. he literally fetishizes his disgust at this kind of relationship, yet without it, without gamzee and without his mastery of the felt, he would have never been able to finish his game, would have never been able to Become Lord English.
i think, then, given all of those words i just said, the simplest, happiest moment of homestuck is when john sees his friends teleported on to lomax and smiles, the widest smile he has ever made in canon. in this moment, we see his teenage disillusionment about the friendships he had made, constantly separated by space and time, and some only lasting for a day. in finally allowing john to see them, we, the reader, can finally understand the nature of friendship.
this is, of course, not saying that any friendship that does not ultimately culminate in a face-to-face interaction is lacking. in homestuck, the face-to-face meeting is the culmination of bending space and time, of doing impossible miracles, and to many people who have internet friends they treasure, it may seem that it would require diving through the fabric of paradox space in a meteor.