Is a Virtual Friend a Real Friend?

Recently, I asked you whether you had met anyone in “real” life who you had become friends with online. Today, I read a heart-wrenching post on Geeks. One of our long-time community members unexpectedly lost his mom two days ago. The poster talks about how he lives several hundred miles from his family. While waiting to travel home, he turned to his friends in our community for support.

The support was instant and unconditional. This reinforces the fact that you don’t have to necessarily meet someone face-to-face in order to form a true and lasting bond. Many deep friendships are made online, only to have the involved persons never lay eyes on each other (beyond webcams and photos). I see it happen every day. I witness the bonds that many of our regular community members share.

This is why I do what I do, folks… YOU. I love the community… the bonds that are formed… the lasting relationships that withstand time and distance. The community we have is why Kat loves her job so much, as well. She’s said it many times, and seeing the post from this community member just proves her point. In the twelve or so years she has been managing communities online, she has been fortunate to form friendships with people from all around the world. These people laugh with each other, cry with each other… get angry together and then become happy again together. They go through life’s experiences together… and that is such an amazing thing to witness.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the real power of friendship through a virtual friend? How has someone(s) you may only know online touched or changed your life? Feel free to share your own thoughts on one of our community sites. There are a lot of good things being posted on a daily basis by all of you!

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