In 8th grade a teacher told us that one day, the internet would be our primary form of communication. That we would wind up sending messaged via computer to the person sitting right next to us instead of talking. losing human interaction. I thought it was a bunch of bull crap until last summer. I found myself sitting right beside my friend Rose, and we were messaging back and forth. Now, we were only doing this for fun, but it hit me afterward, that my teachers prediction had come true. This was the society we now live in. I also realized that I found myself more comfortable with people I met on the internet, than those I met in everyday life.
I had a friend who once told me that you can not make true lasting friendships on the internet. I agreed, comparing those who made friends online to the losers in their basements playing Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft. Little did I know that one day I would be that same "loser" I once trashed. After some recent drama (drama? On the internet? NO! Never!), she asked me again what I thought about friends on the internet and had my views changed yet again. My simple response wasn't as simple as it seems. It's yes and it's no. I do believe you can find friends online. I just don't believe that everyone is your friend. Even those you thought were at one point.
I have people I have met that I love and hope to never lose contact with. That's the beauty of the internet though, losing contact is harder than ever. On the flip side, I have those who I thought were friends, but learned can turn on you faster than the flip of a coin. And I would do anything to just be rid of the pettiness that seems to be a strong part of their own psyche. Something you once found funny becomes annoying once turned on you.
Here's the moral: In it's simplest form, friends on the internet are no different than friends in everyday life. My 8th grade teacher was right. She just missed the part about how human interaction isn't lost just because I am typing instead of speaking. I might be losing tone and inflection, but I am gaining the ability to shut my mouth, to actually think before I speak.
... Most of the time.