Tuesday, December 12

Are Online Friends Really Friends?

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With the growth of the internet more and more people are going online and meeting people there. But are the friends you make there really friends?

There are really a lot of place on the web where you could make new friends. Social networking sites like twitter, facebookmyspace, there are fora where you could go and get to know new people, even triondhas an option like this. You see this person and start a talk with them, and eventually befriend them. Or do you not beFRIEND them? Well, to answer that we first have to define what a friendship is to you. Friends, friendships mean different things to different people, that is only natural. Now we could go by a textbook definition:

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.tr.v. friend·ed, friend·ing, friends

6. To add (someone) as a friend on a social networking website. But as you can see there are a lot of definitions for it. But if I take a closer look it is somewhat accurate, I guess. For most people a friend would be a person who you know, like and can go turn to when you’re in trouble. Of course you can go to your online friend to tell him/her your troubles, you can actually trust him because of a very simple reason; you don’t know who the person behind the screen is!

That would be a problem if it is a friend, it is specificallly said you need to know him/her before he/she is your friend. But that is just a definition plucked out of a dictionary, is it really that important to know who you’re talking to? In fact, one could say that it is a true friend, you can turn to that person when in any trouble because neither of you will ever know who the other is. There is no risk, no need to beembarassed. The only problem is that they are not always online, you can’t rely on them all the time, they can’t help you with a problem directly. Of course that isn’t true for all people some really do need to know who they are talking to, but then, to what extend do you need to know that person?

For a friend you don’t choose on looks (I personally wouldn’t), do you need to know one’s gender? Well, unless you are searching for a romantic partner I would say there is no need for that, as long as that person can help you with your trouble’s. So to what extend do you need to know that person? He could easily say what he does for a living, how old he is (that doesn’t matter much either, online), his hobby’s. Really everything relevant. The only problem with this is, he could be lying. But then again, I can lie about my hobby’s in my real life. All in all, I personally could call a person I know from the internet a friend. But to be able to call them a friend depends on what you think is a friend. 

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