When do Twitter friends become Real friends?
Social Networking has become such a powerhouse of communication that it has completely changed the way we meet new people. In the past, we’d meet people at work, the grocery store, restaurants, and all of the other cliché places you’d expect.
Now with Twitter, meeting new people is as easy as clicking the follow button. Once you’ve started following a new person you’re interested in or someone has begun following you, it’s a matter of time and amount of communication that builds real relationships.
So who’s to say that you can’t have a meaningful friendship just because you’ve never met someone in person. Some of my best Twitter friends, I’ve never actually met out in the real world. Does that make them any less of a friend? Personally, I believe that a friend is someone who will stand by you, support you, have meaningful conversations, and you return the favor. None of these require being in the same place at the same time. (Of course stand by you is meant in the figurative sense)
If we can agree that it’s possible to have real friends that we’ve never met but communicate with using services like Twitter, how do we know once we’ve reached that point where we can truly say that someone is a real friend? Do we simply ask a person if we can call them our friend? Well that might come across a little creepy in some cases. I’d say you just sort of know. A few good signs would be that you know the persons real name and not just their Twitter handle and you’d both be willing and/or excited to actually meet in person.
With sites like Matchmaker.com or eHarmony.com, people search for romantic relationships. With sites like Twitter, people search for many kinds of relationships and sometimes what you find surprises you. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being cautious and keeping your private information safe as there are some strange and awful people out there. However, with an open mind, Twitter gives us the opportunity to meet and make friends with people we could have never found otherwise.