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Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace do not help you make more genuine close friends, according to a survey by researchers who studied how the websites are changing the nature of friendship networks. Although social networking on the internet helps people to collect hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances, the researchers believe that face to face contact is nearly always necessary to form truly close friendships. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace have taken off rapidly in recent years. Facebook was launched initially in for Harvard University members but has since expanded to more than 34 million users worldwide.


Teachers, not yet a subscriber? For more support materials, visit our Help Center. But can these virtual connections ever truly compete with an in-person bond?

Are friends online as legitimate as real-life friends? how the internet makes a difference

Friendship is a mutual connection between people who make time to offer each other honest advice and support. Our generation thrives online, and digital communication is the norm.

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Despite seeing some friends in person during school, we get most of our updates on their lives the same way we do with friends who live three states away—by viewing what they post on social media. Based on my experience, online friendships offer a level of authenticity that in-person friendships cannot. Plus, the internet allows us to talk to people we want to associate with, without a social structure like school forcing us to fit into groups.

For example, I love Taylor Swift but had trouble finding fellow fans in my personal life. Yet online, my potential friend group widened as I was exposed to people who openly expressed their fandom through their online profiles. Oxford Dictionaries define friend as: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. More than half of teenagers have made at least one friend online, and 20 percent have met an online friend in person.

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Sixty-four percent of teens meet their online friends via social media; the rest connect through video games. More than 75 percent of teenagers believe that people are less authentic on social media than they are offline. There is simply no way to feel real friendship other than by sharing experiences with friends you actually see on a regular basis.

The memories that we make with friends are supposed to last a lifetime. But how memorable can chatting through an electronic device really be? The truth is, going through life, experiencing high school drama, and being there to give your best friend a hug whenever he or she needs it is what enables people to build trust and grow closer together. Online friendships, on the other hand, create a false sense of support. If online friends bring any sort of burden into your life, you know that you can easily detach by blocking or unfollowing them.

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How to make friends on the internet

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Can you make real friends online?

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Teaching Resources. See Student View. Are Online Friends Real Friends? September The Science of Friendship. This mini-doc reveals the innate benefits of friendship and how humans, by nature, are meant to forge bonds. Oxford Dictionaries, 2. In-Person vs.

Warning: you can't make real friends online

What do you think? Are online friends real friends? Yes No. Please make a selection.

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I work at a church.


We all need friends.


The Internet has been a part of mainstream culture for well over two decades now.


The internet is deeply interwoven into our everyday lives.