To me, real friendships take time to develop and are based on common interests that are shared as you spend time together and get to know and trust each other.  Meaningful relationships with a significant other person are even harder to find since it usually takes a mutual attraction, a long period of shared experiences in which you each express your feelings, goals, and beliefs, preferably when you are together in the same place at the same time and which, eventually, results in that warm and fuzzy feeling we call love.

Today’s technology is causing us to become a more impersonal society that makes friends and develops relationships online.  I do not have a problem with people reaching out and connecting with other people online.   It is just another way to communicate and is, fundamentally, no different than contacting someone by telephone or by mail.  I have a problem when the online experience provides the only basis for the friendship or relationship.

It is true that the past had its pen pals and, on rare occasions, a relationship may have been created and sustained by telephone calls, but, those were the exceptions to the usual process that required time together to make the friendship or relationship grow into a genuine and tangible part of our life.   Today’s online and disembodied friendships and relationships just leave me cold and, for lack of a better term, they can be called cyberships.

In the online world, it has become easy to think that there are a thousand people you can call your friends and people believe they have fallen in love before they have even met.  Is it really possible to have a thousand friends and can two people actually fall in love before they even meet each other?  In the extreme, I am sure there are people who spend all of their time online, in their homes by themselves, and believe that they have friends and are in relationships.  These friendships and relationships are more fantasy than reality and, certainly, no longer have the depth of meaning these words once had.  I, for one, want to be in real friendships and relationships and not in the imaginary world of cyberships.