The only way to have a friend is to be one.RALPH WALDO EMERSON
“Is it really possible to have a genuine friend through online?”
“Can I trust online friends?”
There are a lot of such questions that arise in our mind when we think about virtual friendship. As the post-Covid era has made everyone continue most of our day-to-day activities through online mode, people have less time to spend with their friends in person. And exposure to the virtual world gives ample opportunities to come in contact with so many unknown people.
A real-life friend inevitably comes in contact with us physically as and when possible whereas the virtual one may never come before us physically. The real-life friend can really be a part of our life’s journey while the virtual friend may not aware of our life’s situations.
A real-life friend comes into face-to-face contact and offers a smile, a handshake and hugs which are always absent in virtual friendship. Although many things like emotional expressions, physical gestures and understanding of our feelings are missing in virtual friendship we have to go on with them in this digital age to continue our life smoothly.
One of the reasons why people try to find a virtual friend is their ill experience with their real-life friends. One has to understand the risk involved in virtual friendships is high as we cannot easily judge the real personality, backgrounds, intentions and trustworthiness of the virtual friends. Many are being trapped by virtual friends in finance, marriage or business. Many people contact us through their social media fake accounts and they pretend to be genuine.
There are good people we can find in the digital world. It takes a long time to understand friends through online. Young people usually share a lot of personal information out of excitement which can be of great danger. Cyberbullying, online money withdrawal, business cheating, and sexual traps are common these days and such things are happening repeatedly. Safety is ultimately the greatest concern for everyone to go on with virtual friends. However, some virtual friends may be very supportive and long-lasting. The crux of the matter is that we need to identify genuine friends in the virtual world before we trust them and go along with them.
Long ago, William Shakespeare said wisely:
Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key: be check’d for silence,
But never tax’d for speech.”
Life in the digital world has to go on with virtual friends and we have to be vigilant always.