I’ll go ahead and say it off the bat: this is not like the other brother story. In fact, I’ve known my brother my entire life: I’ve changed his diapers, played with him in the backyard, picked on him, teased him, argued with him, congratulated him, and held him when he’s cried. But for all of that, we’ve never been close. And in fact, the day after I left college, my brother informed me of that: we’d never been close so it wasn’t that big of a deal that I was leaving for college. That was 5 years ago.
Now, it’s a different story. My brother and I are closer than ever before, even with the age gap. It’s not something I did by any means. I tried and failed numerous times. And he certainly made no efforts when I was home or at family vacations. But in the end, yeah we became close and not by anything we really did with each other. What’s the reason? Though typical and broad as can be, it was the Internet.
The Internet brought us closer as brothers, closer than we had been in the past. For once in our lives, we had something in common or more accurately, discovered we had things in common. We browsed the same sites. We watched the same videos. We played the same games online. We read the same articles online. We even both use the Internet for Latin. And all without knowing it.
I think it struck me when I came home for Christmas break my junior year. For me, going home meant going to be with my friends. As we were sitting at the table, my brother quoted a part of the latest viral video. I laughed immediately and the rest of my family sat in confusion. We both laughed even harder. After dinner, we watched it again. And again. And again. From then on, we just clicked together and we realize now what we’ve been missing.
Over time and even now, we talk online through different outlets but it wouldn’t be possible without the Internet. I had no clue that he was competing in Latin competition and was able to see online how he was doing. He could listen to me on the radio when I would be the board-op. For us, we just enjoy the same things and the Internet has allowed us to share our interests, humor and personality. For me, the Internet was able to do what blood and time couldn’t and for that I’m grateful and I’m pretty sure my parents are as well.
Submitted by Jonathan Choi, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.