The Internet can be overwhelming at times.
I have found that people I have made friendships with online to be some of the most honest, generous caring people I have met. They bring laughter and warmth into my life, and have been a source of strength and support in ways that I never imagined.
People that do not chat on message boards or blogs on a regular basis, have a difficult time understanding a friendship formed on the internet. They question how I can befriend a stranger I have never met in the real life.
My online friends are just as real to me as my "real life" friends. I have more contact with my online friends, and we're more in touch with each others ups and downs. I think it is easier for real life friends to not listen to each other. Interrupt the other while talking, never really hearing what the other is saying, because they are more interested in what they have to say at that very moment then what you have to say.
Online friends rely on the written word. We have time to read, and re-read the written word, before we respond. So we tend to understand and know what the other person is saying or feeling through those written words. Sometimes it is easier to write what I am feeling then to say it in person.
A bond forms with someone miles away but close to me on my computer. Anytime I feel the need to chat with my online friends, to share a happy thought, or reach out for needed support, I can quickly type on my keyboard, and shortly get that reply, that virtual hug.
My online friendships can be as real, and just as supportive as real life friendships. It seems it is easier to get to know someone online then in real life. My internet friendships can be closer in some ways and more trusting than real life ones.
I think the anonymity of the internet can create a greater intimacy and willingness to talk about things one might not talk about with real life friends.
I know online friendships come and go. While some are only here for a little while, others form deep bonds that can last a lifetime. So what happens when you form a close bond with an online friend, then one day you realize your friendship is slowly dying? Your friendship isn't what it use to be. Do you just let it go? Do you mourn the loss of an online friendship the same as you would a real-life friendship? I think the answer for me would be yes.