I have recently become aware of the fact that I interact more with my friends online than I do in person.  I don’t just mean planning things via email, either.  I actually have several friends that I have made online, many whom I have never met in person, and I feel like, at times, I spend more time “with” them than with the friends I could hop on the subway and go visit.  Some of this is due to insane schedules and lack of funds.  When i was growing up in smaller places, people spent time at one another’s homes when they wanted to be with friends.  In the city, everyone prefers to get together at a restaurant or club at a central location.  While that makes sense, it can be tough on the finances, and almost everyone I know (online or in person) is tight on cash right now.

The interesting thing to me, though, is that I have found friends online whose interests and ideas are a closer match to mine than many of my traditional friends.  This does not mean that I love my traditional friends any less, but it does mean that, with some things, I have people to talk to for the first time ever. I have been lucky to find real people online (as opposed to people posing as a persona) and to have actually met a couple of them and found that, yes, we are completely compatible as friends in person, too. But, isn’t it strange?  The internet allows us to find these people who think the same way, and connect with them, but at the same time seems to be detracting from the traditional friendships in some way.

Jenifer, 34, New York 

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