Just key in the phrase 'online friends' on any search engine and within seconds the results page will come up with websites that facilitate free online friendship. There is a big number of websites that offer chat services and are very popular among the masses. Another popular online 'friend finder' means are the social networking websites. Both these means are overly popular among the masses and people do make 'friends' on the web media. Meeting new people has never been so easy! Now coming to the main point of our discussion, making friends online cannot be judged as good or bad. The Internet is an effective medium of communication and facilitates easy correspondence. It has no doubt, made a huge positive impact on our communication style, but there have also been cases of misuse and abuse of the Internet technology. Thus you should not add anybody in haste and instead give it some thought. Read further for an analysis.
An Overview of Online Friends
Instant messaging, audio and video chats are all very popular among people, especially teens. Each one of us has an email account or profile on some social networking website. These websites offer plenty of benefits if you wish to keep in touch with your long lost friends. People can come across your profile while some may want to add you as friend or may be you may find someone interesting to have as your friend. But before you click to request the person to be your friend or just accept the friend request, go through the pros and cons given below.
Whether something as innocent as making friends on the Internet can be labeled good or bad also depends on what you expect from the person. If you go by the popular maxim 'a friend in need is a friend indeed', then it may not be a good idea. This is because, online friends cannot come to help you and would also not provide any emotional support. But if you just wish to spend some quality time while you are online and share your thoughts, you may proceed with making friends. Take a look at the pros and cons of making online friends, that have been written with strangers in mind.
Cons of Making Online Friends
- Ideally you should not expect 'friendship' from the people you chat on the web. While chatting on the web, majority of the people just look for some casual talk.
- What is the guarantee that the person you have been chatting with has the same ideologies and beliefs in his/her life? Through text chatting or even audio/video chat you cannot determine anything about the person.
- The motive of a stranger wanting to be a friend online is often not friendship. Especially if you are a girl, the friend requests (from strangers) you get daily can have crude motives behind them. The person, if you add as a friend can nag and trouble you in the future course of time.
- If it is a social networking site you are using for making friends, then adding the person as a friend means he will have access to all your details. The person if not good can misuse your personal details for malicious motives.
Pros of Making Online Friends
- In rarest of rare cases, friendship does blossom on the web. You can surely expect to find some people on the web who would become your friends for life.
- In case you are living away from home, your online friends can be a good support system. They might help you get over the feeling of loneliness.
- It can teach you a lesson or two. You will interact with the person and may be get to know many new things. Keep in mind the points given below for a good experience with your online friends.
When starting a conversation with any new person do not talk too much about yourself in the initial days. Take sometime to understand the person, if you make out that the person can be trusted as a friend and if your wavelengths match, you can share your thoughts with him/her. Also you should not reveal your contact details like address and mobile number to the person you are chatting with. When chatting with a person through social networking sites, make sure that the person has no access to your personal details and photos. You can unlock the features once you are friends.
At the end, it is necessary to mention that online relationships lack on the emotional aspect. Each person has his/her own definition of an online 'friend'. If you are just looking for some sharing of thoughts and increase in your contacts list, online friendship is OK, but do not expect lifelong friendship from a stranger on the web.