Posted: August 1st, 2022

Is it possible for internet friends to be real?

Is it possible for internet friends to be real?
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Is it possible for internet friends to be real?
The debate on the possibility of getting loyal and real friends over the different internet platform has been regularly questioned with equal support and criticism; it is clear and evident that true and real friendship can be attained between different parties interacting over the internet. It is important to note that real friendship is attained through a process both in the internet platforms and in the normal one on one interaction. Gaining true friendship between different parties takes the process of gaining trust, confidence and other values in each other, which take a considerable period. Consequently, to understand the possibility of having real friendship over the internet one needs to understand friendship and its characteristics. In this case, a friend entails persons that know each other better and are there for each other in the best interests of the parties involved. Friendship is further strengthened through traits such us trusts, unconditional love and normal companionship. True and real friendship can be attained through the different internet platforms over a time based on the consistent development of trust, confidence, companionship and unconditional love.
Internet platforms ensure that people are involved in constant communication and interactions that are vital in the establishments of real friendship. The advanced technology has ensured that people can attain mediated friendships through exchange on various social, cultural and economic levels to the point that they can establish a common ground and foundation for their friendships (Briggle, 2008, p. 73). The communication that leads to real friendship needs to be quality such that there is sufficient interaction time, and the communication is done covering the common and permitted values. Consistent and value communication ensures that personal relationship is perfectly developed; thus, real friendship is established. Therefore, communication is an important aspect in the development and establishment of real internet friends.
The internet platforms ensure that self-disclosure is effectively attained between different parties, thus enabling and effective establishment of real friendship. Self-disclosure is a facilitating factor to the formation of real virtual friends since it facilitates trust, intimacy and a bond of affection between the parties involved. Internet platforms provide platforms where people can share their experiences, thoughts, pictures, views and opinion on different social, economic and cultural aspects (Briggle, 2008, p. 73). The display and disclosure of characters enable parties on the internet to choose friend they share characters and perception of life. On the other hand, when people on the internet platforms have different characters, they avoid each other for there will consistent conflicts and disagreements. Therefore, the self-disclosure and display enabled on the different internet platforms display values and traits of an individual and persons that share similar traits and character are bound to develop a real and true friendship over the internet.
The aspect of interpretation enabled by the internet platforms fills the gap created by the distance between the parties on the internet that establishing closeness that eventually ends in friendship. People interacting on internet platforms can evaluate and understand each other’s character through interpretation leading to a realization of friendship (Cocking and Matthews, 2007, p. 226). The interpretation of the character is realized from the different content shared by the parties on the internet platforms and their reactions from different social, cultural and economic factors. The aspect of interpretation of a person’s reactions and behaviours forms a basis of developing real friendship as the friend will treats each other in the interest of mutual appreciation. Friends need to take care of each other, thus ensuring not party hurts the other by talks, reactions and interaction, thus maintaining friendships. Therefore, continued interactions and operations between different parties create a sense of interpretation that fills the gaps introduced by the distances between the parties such that they know the confines of their interactions leading to the realization of real friends.
The mediation provided by the internet platforms ensures that the interacting parties have a chance and opportunity to reveal themselves by being real. The advanced technology in the internet platforms has provided opportunities for persons to have a one on one conversations as if they were not separated by distances (Briggle, 2008, p. 74). In this case, the face to face communications enables the interacting parties to express powerful expressions, display of affection desire to engage in shared activities and a sense of disposition of care. Interacting parties have chances to interact and engage each other at any time as if distances did not separate them. In time the friends are in a position to create friendship bonds through continued interaction since they can express their emotions in real form. The internet platform presents mediation a one on one interaction such as the distance gap is eliminated and the interactions become a reality when the parties involved can effectively reveal their true identities to each other leading to a realization of true friendship.
The parties involved in the internet interactions engage in consistent writing, reading and expressing self in the course of interaction, thus creating an attachment that is vital in the formation of real friendship. At the point that the parties involved in the interaction realize the common aspects that bind them, they will consistently engage in writing, reading and revealing self (Briggle, 2008, p. 76). The act of reading, writing and revealing self creates an attachment that arises from their emotions and meeting the needs of each other. At this point, both parties will consistently engage and have time to interact to meet each other social needs. The continued interactions develop social capital that is dependent on each other, leading to a real and lasting friendship.
The internet has a wide range of friend and making an informed choice of friends to have results in real friendships that are based on mutual benefits and interest. The internet has many people looking for friendship at different levels such as social, cultural and economic levels and at the point, the interacting parties gain compatibility then real and lasting friendship is achieved (Helliwel and Huang, 2013, 41). The different friend across the globe can be of great help, especially when one is having issues in their lives. When one gets persons to help them in addressing issues in their lives, they can develop friends. For instance, one may be going through hardship in their businesses, and they can reach for professional or otherwise advice to friends on internet platforms. Friends that assist in recovering in the struggles form a basis for real friends. Additionally, there are friends to assist in other life aspects, and with consistent and fruitful interaction, the bond of friendship becomes stronger with continued interaction leading to the realization of real friendship.
The internet enhances social networking leading to affiliation and intimacy amounting to real friendship. The social networking poses as a minefield for persons with a great urge to affiliate. The internet creates opportunities to connect with a multitude expecting an array of expectation such as rejection, being defriended, and friendship request being turned down. Additionally, the internets have a wide range of activities that are taking place concurrently from different parties, and people choose to engage in the based on their preferences (Lin and Tsai, 2002, p. 417). For instance, one may wish to engage in entertainment platforms and activities, and in the process, they will find people with similar needs. People engage in a different group to develop a friendship that is exposed to a process of standing the test of time. At this point, people seeking affiliation or intimacy can lose friend, gain a new friend or strengthen friendship bonds with past friends. Therefore, the different virtual interactions and the process of friendship determine and define real friendship. Real and true friendship is attained through a process characterized by failure and success.
Conclusion
Real friendship can be achieved over the internet platforms with great strengths and difficulties due to the uncertainties associated with the process. Finding real friendship over the internet is a risky affair, but upon the establishments of persons with shared qualities, interests, and needs, one can create a basis for true friendship. Friendship is based on mutual trust, confidence and companionship that are developed over a while when using internet platforms since there is no physical contact interaction. It is vital to note that there are unreal friends, and thus, persons seeking affiliation and intimacy need to consciously differentiate between the real and unreal friends. The process of finding a real friend is tedious and uncertain, but upon identifying them, one is assured of true and real friendship.

References
Briggle, A. (2008). Real friends: How the Internet can foster friendship. Ethics and Information Technology, 10(1), 71-79.
Cocking, D., & Matthews, S. (2007). Unreal Friends. Computer Ethics, Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
Helliwell, J. F., & Huang, H. (2013). Comparing the happiness effects of real and on-line friends. PloS one, 8(9), e72754.
Lin, S. S., & Tsai, C. C. (2002). Sensation seeking and internet dependence of Taiwanese high school adolescents. Computers in human behavior, 18(4), 411-426.

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