Free Essay Example. Internet Friendship

Published: 2023-05-02
Free Essay Example. Internet Friendship
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Internet Relationship Social media Ethical dilemma
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1451 words
13 min read

The internet is a large platform with a lot of social media platforms, which has enhanced the interaction of people throughout the world. Some of the popular social media platforms that have contributed to increased virtual social conduct include Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. Other social networks have been developed by software developers that target a specific group of people. However, the most popular social media platform used by people is Facebook. About the structure of the platform, it is easy to meet other people from different continents possessing similar interests to your b platform. In the course of online interaction, people have had the capability of developing more personal relationships to a further extent, even love romantic relationships (Briggle, 2008). However, it is impossible to create a genuine friendship on the internet.

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According to Cocking and Matthews, the development of real friendship is psychologically impossible. They analyze what concerns genuine friendship through the different types of personal interactions that occur in virtual and non-virtual environments. The two argue that online friendship does not possess the human aspects that are assumed in ordinary close friendships. Internet friendship conceals a lot of issues that can be exhibited in everyday life by friends hence disclosing them in real-life friendships.

Virtual friendships lack the personal appeal that is portrayed in the non-virtual world where individuals can identify and creatively draw results from a process of mutual interpretation and understanding. The above is essential as it significantly contributes to the in-depth knowledge of each other's characters in ordinary friendship. Unlike virtual friendship, the usual association promotes an increased concern for a friend's welfare, and the ability to share information with increased feelings of affection.

The development of an internet friend, according to research, leads to the loss of a non-virtual friend in return. However, the replacement is mostly dependent on the circumstances, and the decision one has to make. A critical issue that arises with the formation of an Internet friendship is the psychological effect that is attached to prolonged Internet interaction. The interaction will always lead to a transformation and alteration to the participants' characteristics that are associated with non-virtual communication. For instance, a person can become shy or lose social confidence in real life. The chances of transmitting such attributes to the non-virtual world are high.

Internet friendship is affected by the mutual interpretation by participants of their skewed presentation of self to either of party. The skewed presentation, therefore, only allows for quick analysis of the picture of who we are to others as opposed to ordinary friendship. Online communication also regulates or instead determines the content of information that we display to other parties online, depending on the perception of the person on the other end and how one thinks it might affect them in return. The above, in turn, creates suspicion in the friendship that is to be developed.

Just like in advertising, internet friendship comes with structural constraints in communication in the sense that the participants will only channel their verbal communication to specific environments of their interests. Regarding the above, we confirm that the internet affects the behavior and characteristics of the developed friendship environments and the nature of the participants in the friendships. It implies that the internet distorts the institution of harmony despite being preferred by people in the current generation.

In friendship accounts, the relationship is only termed as friendship when there is a deep and mutual affection for each other. It should be accompanied by the ability to offer help, particularly regarding the welfare of each other, together with the willingness to engage in shared activities with each other more freely in a convenient way. The above conditions are expected to apply to any friendship, be it from mother to daughter on any account of friendship.

For friendship development, there must be self-disclosure to the other party for the formation of bonds of affection, intimacy, and trust, which Aristotle refers to as the mirror of friendship. However, internet friendship does not allow full disclosure of self, which in turn is supplemented by suspicion from either party. Thus, those willing to develop the bond cannot establish the tendency of compatibility in character similarity that is necessary for choosing and retaining the association.

In a world that is full of personal information privacy, disclosing personal information to another party has become quite tricky where no one is willing to share private information in a way that will maintain the friendship relationship. The above can be attributed to personal interests or motives that we have, especially to those we are virtual too. Internet friendship is not much concerned about past information but dwells on the current one. However, releasing personal information and thoughts to the other party leaves individuals vulnerable to any form of risk from the other party concerning the sensitivity of the same (Cocking & Matthew, 2000). Clinging to some information because of secret views inhibits the flourishing of internet friendship.

Another account of friendship is the identity that one bares to the other party in terms of how they relate with them. The relationship can be built by accidentally sharing an experience that none of the people had anticipated for rather than a planned one. It is usually without an invitation. Such rarely happens on the internet. In this case, it is designed since there is no other activity that is involved in triggering the development of the friendship. It is more of a stimulation to develop a bond on the internet as opposed to natural causes.

Cocking and Matthew also established that closer interaction with ordinary friends leads to smooth and quicker learning of their characters and behaviors. Education leads to interpretation and understanding of the same, which elicits mutual affection, the desire to share experiences, and the willingness to promote and benefit from the interests of each other. Such cannot be expressed on the internet since there is a lack of physical touch that contributes to accurate interpretation and understanding of those we are relating.

Interpretation plays a significant role in the realization of the people we are interacting with, just as confirmed in the various accounts of friendship. A mutual understanding between related parties is associated with friends being central to those who have thoroughly disclosed their information and the nature of the information published (Cocking & Matthews, 2000). Secondly, friendship will only develop for those whose characters and behaviors have been ascertained by each party to be similar. Lastly, the interpretation of association will only be relevant if there is an intensified relationship between the parties developing the friendship.

The internet, in the current times, immensely facilitates the creation of friendship. There are those with certain attached motives, which make them last long before being broken due to the presence of an essential reason for the disclosure of private information to the other party. The above is accompanied by the interaction which is importantly relevant to the parties learning of behaviors and characteristics and self-development features necessary for friendship.

According to Briggs, virtual interaction to create friendship considers essential factors that can easily lead to the formation of real friends as opposed to ordinary friendship. For instance, in virtual communication online, one can hide all that they don't want to be released to the friend for the sake of protecting their relationship and friendship. One is control of the information and communication on either end in the sense that they choose how to self-present themselves to the other party (Briggle, 2008). Unlike non-virtual friendship, all the evil characters and behaviors that an individual want to be hidden are released and hence might end up compromising the good motive of the bond.

Biggie also advocates for a consideration of those who exhibit certain extreme conditions like shyness or lack of confidence together with other physical disabilities that might be of speech capacity that is capable of limiting their ability to make friends in the non-virtual world. It is only through interaction that such people will be able to avoid social inconveniences in a bid to express their intentions in their self-representation.

In my opinion, Cocking and Matthew are right about the development of a real internet friendship relationship. It is because a lot of information is usually concealed by the people since they regard it as private. Based on the elements of friendship, therefore, a lot gets to be missed out by both parties that will determine their similarities hence their compatibility. The restricted physical interaction also hinders the knowledge of a person by the other party.


Briggle, A. (2008). Real friends: How the Internet can foster friendship. Ethics and Information Technology, 10(1), 71-79.

Cocking, D., & Matthews, S. (2000). Unreal friends. Ethics and information technology, 2(4), 223-231.

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