Today I wish to talk about a topic that was instrumental to me in developing, and one that is creating much debate among all age groups. Cyber friendships compared to Traditional friendships. The difference of opinion goes like this, and please understand that I am talking generalities here as there are extremes in every case: the “older” generations hold the belief that the world is becoming far too technical, mobile, cyber centered, and that we are losing critical interpersonal skills in the process; the “younger” generations feel that cyber networking is the normal way to develop relationships, and that the “old folks” just don’t get it. Well, as always, I have my own opinion on this matter, and it falls somewhere in the middle.

The inevitable and onward march of technology has no opinion in the matter, for it is only a tool for us to use as we see fit. Modern technology has given us the ability to communicate, and make “friends” with others on a global basis. Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging, Email, and Text Messaging have all made it possible to have “friends” that we never meet, and will in all likelihood never meet, face to face. I’ve seen people on Facebook who have over a thousand friends. I ask myself is that realistic? The easy answer is to say of course not, nobody can possibly have that many friends, but when I ponder it deeper I come up with a plethora of different answers. Maybe the definition of “friend” needs to be updated. Maybe we can have thousands of friends in this new cyber world. Perhaps face to face interaction is no longer necessary for a friendship to develop. Maybe we are better off communicating with each other via our computers and phones rather than look someone in the eye and actually talk to them. All of these wonderful leaps in technology have given us the ability to communicate with everyone and by doing so we get a sense of self importance. We update our various “profiles” with the latest, greatest things that are happening in our lives, we let everyone know what music we are listening to, what our mood is, where we are going and where we have been, BUT, does anyone really care? Do all of our cyber friends have any real desire to know that we are listening to Katie Perry, that we are feeling melancholy, going hiking this afternoon, and had a bad experience at the grocery store last night? Probably not, but by announcing all these things to our multitude of friends we get the sensation that people out there really care. We give them a thumbs up, post witty things to their wall, punch them back, wink at them, and the list goes on and on. How many of these people care enough about us to be a real friend?

When life becomes tough are they there to watch us cry, listen with a compassionate heart, and give us a sincere hug as our tears flow? Only a real friend can do this, someone that we have a real life relationship with, a person that has intimate knowledge of “us”, and not simply the cyber face that we present to the world. These friends see us in action and are the impartial judges of whether our actions match our words. They are the ones who might know the cyber us, but you better believe that they know the “the real us”, and hold us accountable for both personas.

Perhaps the whole debate can be summed up by saying that we have multiple different friendships. Our cyber communities allow us to reach out, share information, become involved in lively debates, and form friendships that are limited to how we portray ourselves via words; our cyber face. Our face to face friends allow us to use our interpersonal skills to interact with one another on a person and intimate level to build true and lasting relationships. These friends see us for who we really are and they hold us accountable to our impeccable word by watching our actions. Technology provides us with the mechanism to locate those who we share similar interests with, but in order to forge true and lasting friendships there is still no replacement for looking someone in the eye when talking to them, and using our intuition to determine if that person has what it takes to be our “friend”. My hope is that provides each of you with another tool that can be used to meet those who you can develop real world friendships with.

“Remember, may the possibilities of today excite us all!”

Author's Bio: 

I am a woman with a passion to inspire and encourage women to be better women for themselves and for this world. I am creator/founder of a social networking website where women can meet, share and inspire one another. My blog can be found at