Recognition, respect, support … There are many ingredients of friendship that do not necessarily require physical presence. Does online friendship really exist? Is it enough to maintain a link across a screen?
Advances in technology have broadened the forms of communication and relationships, making it possible, for example, to make friends online via the Internet. There are a lot of people who go online every day to meet and interact with people. However, the vast majority use the Internet to make initial contact. This can then lead to the relationship continuing in the real world.
So the question is this. Is it possible to establish and maintain a bond of friendship only through this virtual means? As with many questions, the answer is never closed. Reality is more complex than a yes or a no. Here, we will discuss the topic of lasting online friendship.
Table of Contents
What is Friendship?
Friendship is a broad term with many meanings. First of all, not all friendships are the same. They do not all pursue the same objectives. Nor are they all based on the same values. There are friendships that are functional in nature. In this case, each party considers it convenient to get closer to the other for reasons specific to their environment. This could be the case, for example, with friendships at school or at work.
However, some friendships exist only for our pleasure. They are born and maintain through mutual feelings of affection, respect and admiration. In this case, the link is not just due to the environment. In fact, the two people choose to establish a relationship because of the pleasurable feelings they experience.
It also makes sense to say that certain types of friendship are not possible over the Internet. If you have a friend on the Internet, for example, you won’t be able to kiss him or go to a bar with him on the weekend. However, there are a number of other components of friendship that can be present in an online friendship.
Does Online Friendship Really Exist?
Unlike family and work relationships, there is no context here that creates a definite framework for interaction. The relationship on the Internet is therefore purely voluntary in nature. In addition, due to the distance, it is not possible to physically carry out activities.
Therefore, we can be sure that the other person’s interest is sincere and selfless. The resulting friendship will therefore be based on a real attraction to the personality of the other. It will be based on shared interests and values and on great mutual affinity. So, if the bond is maintained, it is because both people find it enriching and rewarding.
Online Friendship is typically characterized by the importance of written communication. It greatly improves our ability to express ourselves and to open up to others. Indeed, written language requires more thought and introspection in the choice of words. Oral communication, although more spontaneous, is also faster and therefore more superficial.
Writing thus helps us connect with our feelings and express them more deeply. It also allows us to take the time to appreciate the nuances of what the other is sharing with us.
Through online friendship, it is possible to achieve a deep understanding of the other person. This will then lead to creating an important emotional connection.
Loyalty, Support and Trust of Online Friendship
Distance does not affect these 3 basic building blocks of friendship. They may even be strengthened online. When a distance friendship is established, the two friends can share their experiences, fears, doubts by trusting each other. Thanks to the two points mentioned above (genuine interest and great knowledge of the other), our friend can understand us and advise us with sincerity and affection.
Plus, it’s always nice to have someone dedicate some of their time to us and invest in building a relationship. In addition, this effort is all the stronger when the two people lead different and physically distant lives. This indeed requires an additional commitment to the service of this online friendship.
In summary, we can conclude that an Online Friendship can never replace the physical contact and shared experiences of an ordinary friendship. However, sometimes we meet some really interesting people who live far away. This geographic constraint alone is not a valid reason in itself to directly eliminate these people from our lives.
Thus, the fact that an Online Friendship is somehow trapped in the limits of its environment does not take away its enriching aspect. If there is esteem, affection and mutual respect, if the two people appreciate and admire each other for which they really are, an Online Friendship can be a great experience.