Internet friendship

From Academic Kids

Internet friendships are friendships between people who have met online, and in some cases know each other only via the Internet. Like Internet romance, it has been widely debated and often criticized.

It is, many people argue, very difficult - if not impossible - to establish a meaningful relationship with somebody you can't see face to face. It is difficult to gauge a person's emotions and feelings, and there is a high possibility of deception - people lying about who they are.

Supporters of online relationships, on the other hand, argue that not seeing the other person actually helps the relationship: you have fewer inhibitions, because you feel that the person you are speaking with doesn't have any expectations of you, and therefore it is easier to "be yourself". You are judged on nothing but your personality and screenname. They also point out that online friendships are similar to penpal relationships. It is the experience of many people that in internet relationships most people end up being much more open about their thoughts and feelings than in non-online relationships.

In her book Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995), Sherry Turkle analyses this and other new phenomena in interpersonal relationships.

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