Friendship Today

March 20, 2014
By , Plainsboro, NJ
As the saying goes, “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” real friends should always trust and have close contact with each other. With the arrival of advanced computer technology such as online chatting where strangers could connect just mouse clicks away, making friends nowadays is just as difficult as before. My personal experience can attest to this observation.

Masking or changing one’s identity is more than easy on the Internet. Many people fix their online profile so that they seem better than they actually are. The first thing I did after setting up a Chatbox account was finding friends. That is, people who had the same interests as I did. Soon enough, I came across such a person who also liked reading, and sports. Naturally, I added this person, named “Snowywillow09,” into my “friends” list. I waited excitedly to talk to him, but was severely disappointed to find out Snowywillow09 had no such hobbies. Whenever I talked about the latest book I read or the tennis game on TV the previous night, Snowywillow09 either responds with a vague “that’s great”, or he ignores me completely and changes the topic. I realized the online “friend” of mine only added the activities to look more interesting and attract other people to him. Our friendship ended because of his pretense.

Establishing true friendships needs more intimate contact than the one offered in most online communities. RazzyMario, another Chatbox buddy of mine, was a nice person to talk with. Though she had no similar hobbies as mine, RazzyMario told me many interesting things that I would never have known on my own. A videogame fanatic, she introduced me to the world of different gaming markets, platforms, and characters. In return, I tell her about things that I enjoy, like the hottest books published recently and which tennis player I admire the most. Despite the seemingly close contact I had with RazzyMario, we slowly talked less and less, and then eventually stopped altogether. I felt like I was only talking to a robot who knew all about gaming devices, not a real person with flesh and bones. Sure, we would post photos and messages for each other to see, but that was it. Another factor of our friendship ending is that RazzyMario lives almost a thousand miles away from where I live, so meeting her for real was impossible. Our bonds of friendship drifted away slowly because we were unable to maintain a more intimate relationship.
When hanging out with a friend face-to-face, it is undoubtedly easier to show one’s true feelings and thoughts. Additionally, meeting a friend directly will establish a firmer bond between the two than typing words to a superficial friend a computer screen away.

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