Are you friends with those whom you meet on the internet? Are your virtual friends real friends?
They can be, why not? These days you can meet your existing friends on the internet and you can even make friends online. There are many forums, social networking sites and web pages which have exactly this purpose: make friends and stay in touch with them.
Those whom you meet for the first time on the net are another kind of friends. You meet them usually by seeing what they wrote and you get to know each other mostly through writing with each other and reading whatever the other one published. With some you get more involved, of others you get to know a lot through reading about their lives but you never have an actual conversation.
You may get to know some of them in real life. Especially if you live close to each other, this is very much possible and in this case it can be that you develop a beautiful friendship. You can also make friendships and connect your travels with meeting them personally wherever their home is. It may be easier to develop a friendship in this way as you can actively choose by what the other one wrote whether you can spend time together, whether you are of the same opinion and what you have in common.
This can however also be misleading. Sometimes you meet cheaters who pretend to be someone else. They write about anything and everything, pretend to be this or that person with experiences of everywhere while they have never in their life left their village. They might be male and write female, they can make themselves older and younger and even upload pictures of other people as their own. And sometimes they simply disappear. Their profile is closed and they are gone. You do not know anything else about them and have no way of contacting them. This kind of friend can be lost very suddenly.
This can happen and very often people are just there for a short time and then go other virtual ways. Sometimes however you meet serious and real people. You meet someone who is honestly interested in who you are and what you are writing about. Someone who is just himself, even on the internet where he could be anybody he wants to be.
Personally I have made several very good connections through the internet. Some people I met in person, too, and some people are still only known to me through e-mails and online messages. In this way I love how the internet connects the whole world. No matter how far apart you are, you can be friends and stay in touch.