Friendships are often random and “just happen” but sometimes you get an opportunity to actually design a friendship. Meeting this person might start as a mix of randomness and fate but when it becomes obvious that a genuine friendship connection has been made, two people can determine exactly what defines that friendship. Some of it might still be a natural evolving process but it is shaped by communication and mutual agreement.
Can a real friendship develop online? I believe some of that growth can happen in the cloud but real friendship usually involves at least some in-person time and a sharing of experiences unique to those two people.
Some of my best friendships began in person and the internet has enabled them to continue across time and distance. I’m mostly thinking about my closest friends from my teens and twenties. I am currently in touch with most of the ones that really mattered.
Funny thing is that one of my closest friends is someone who I met online, eventually in person and now we maintain a deep friendship through a combination of both. Most of our communication over the past few years has been email, chat and text but we’ve spent some time in person too; and the friendship is strong and real. Developing friendships that way is not something I could have imagined. We have designed our friendship, defied some rules of male-female friendships and honored others, set boundaries in some obvious areas and developed a great communication style that is uniquely ours.
My longest-running close friendship began through a funny mix of fate and randomness. I flunked chemistry in high school and had to take it again in summer school. She was in my class.
Regardless of whether it is fate or random or both or neither, friendships mean a lot to me. I do what I can to keep in touch with friends. Online friendship maintenance is great but I’ll always chose the in-person option when I have that choice.