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02 July 2007

Meeting Your Virtual Friends

Most of us who blog, use forums and social networking sites for discussions and exchanging views, come in contact with people from all over the world. With some we interact more than with others. Of course, online discussions sometimes result in exchanging emails. We start developing something that can be called 'friendship' and many times we start feeling there is some higher level of connection. Be it similar views, similar personalities or familiar life situations, sometimes these 'friendships' also develop because we are learning something new from each other. Learning from each other is a big aspect of blogging and I feel most people are blogging because they do like meeting like minded people.

So I was wondering a few things about this whole phenomenon:

1. Are virtual friendships different than real life friendships for you? If yes, how?

Okay I think that word 'real-life' is not really accurate here because the virtual friendships are also real-life friendships except that we don't get to meet all of our virtual friends in person, go to lunches/dinners with, play tennis/golf with and get together over the weekends etc.

2. Is it possible to develop closer ties with people you meet online because sometime it is easier to exchange views freely in writing verses talking?

I am thinking here about the controversial issues which many of us might hesitate to express our honest views and opinions on if called upon to do so because of fear of being judged or worse being attacked?

3. And most of all, I wonder, would we feel the same about our Internet 'friends' if we ever meet them in person?

Or would our perceptions that we developed reading their words on the screen change after meeting? Would you be a bit unsettled if you saw a completely different person than the image you create for them over time?

This post was written by Pearl from Fresh Perspectives. Pearl analyzes random topics she finds online, sharing her own experiences, questioning their value, dissecting their meanings and triggering controversial reactions. If you are interested in contributing to the thinking process and become a guest writer on The Thinking Blog, find out more information here and be my guest!

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