I was talking with a couple of my online friends yesterday and the topic kind of came up about people saying that you can’t develop real friendships over the internet. Says who? That’s such a load of dren.
I have more friends online than I do in real life, and I believe they are real friends. When I’m down and need someone to talk to, they’re there. when I have something awesome to share, they join in my joy. If I were in dire straits, I believe they’d do whatever they could. And the reverse is also true. I’m always there for them, and would do anything I could for them, just like my in-person friends.
I have real feelings for my online friends, and they have real feelings for me. I think anyone who says you can’t form emotional bonds with people online is just someone who’s got a lot of issues and is having a hard time trusting and loving in general. There may be other reasons too, but the plain fact is, you *can* form real ties with people online.
Hell, I ended up marrying someone I met online! We fell in love long before we met. We became friends and would chat for hours through IM and video. We came to have real feelings for each other that just became stronger when we finally met. The idea that we can’t make friends or find love over the internet is pure hogwash. If you’re a loving, feeling person, you can very much come to care for someone you’ve never met in the flesh.
Now, I will say that a lot of our connections online are superficial and not deep or meaningful. It’s much like the person you see at the coffee shop or market who you talk to when you see them, but you’re not really close. Life is just like that. It’s 99% acquaintances and 1% real friends and loved ones. The medium through which you interact with someone has no real bearing on the quality of relationship that you can develop.
I can honestly say that I care for, and even love some of the people I only know online. They probably know who they are, and I bet they feel the same. I’ll never stop building relationships with people online, and you never know, someday we may meet and it will be amazing.