Ah, friends. We laugh together, cry together, goof off together—these are the people with whom we choose to spend our increasingly precious and valuable time when we’re away from our computers.
But friendships formed online through social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many others aren’t quite the same as the friendships we form offline.
Online friendships are often contrived and artificial. Sure, we can connect with our real friends, assuming they’re using the same sites, but very often, we friend people we don’t know. These can be people we meet through forums, discussion lists, friends of other friends, people we respect and admire but haven’t met in person, and so on.
And sadly, ...