The Internet has made meeting new people who share your interests so much easier! However, making friends online is still a controversial topic. Some people think that online friendships are a great thing, while others are convinced that they are not real at all. The truth lies somewhere in between as, like most other things, online friendships have their pros and cons.
Pro. You can be friends with people from different countries. The Internet has no boundaries, it allows you to meet people from across the globe and learn about their culture. Of course, there's a language barrier, but nowadays many people speak English, so it will hardly be an issue.
Con. You won't meet most of them IRL. Maybe some of your online friends live close enough and you will arrange meetings with them, but you surely won't be able to meet all of your online friends. You will never be able to hang out together, laugh at stupid jokes or hug them.
Pro. It's easier to strike up a conversation. If you're a shy person, it's probably easier for you to approach people in the online world. You can learn some background information from their user profile, take your time before answering them and end a conversation when you're feeling uncomfortable.
Con. There is no body language and intonation. Communication without body language and intonation can lead to misunderstandings. Sadly, emoticons don't always help. You need to be careful about what you're saying to prevent miscommunication.
Pro. It's easier to open up. Many people find it easier to share things with their online friends because they feel more comfortable typing the words than saying them. Besides, online friends often are less judgmental, because they are used to meeting people of different ages, sexes, and races.
Con. You can be taken advantage of. Are you really sure that they are who they seem to be? Maybe you've really found yourself a great friend, and maybe you're just being catfished. It is dangerous to provide your online friends with too much personal information too soon into your relationship.
Pro. It saves time. You don't have to go anywhere in order to meet your online friends. The only thing you need is your computer/tablet/smartphone and Internet connection. You don't have to think what to wear and you can stay at home if you don't feel like going out.
Con. You can lose yourself in the online world. Online friendships can get addicting. You might end up abandoning your real-life friends in favor of your online acquaintances. It is very important to find a balance between online and IRL friendships.
The bottom line is, online friendships are great as long as you're being careful and don't lose yourself in the computer. Online friends can be a good addition to your social circle, but they shouldn't be a replacement for your real-life friends.
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