I primarily use the internet to maintain both online and real-world friendships. Because I am so geographically displaced from the majority of my real-world friends, I don’t have a lot of options for maintaining the friendships that I have cultivated throughout my life but this isn’t something that I have just recently started doing. As early as I can remember I was writing letters to my friends in Alaska when I was living in Oregon and doing the same for Oregonians when I was back in Alaska, similar to the friendship between Dickinson and Higginson as presented by Wineapple except that these friends beforehand (Vernon, 2010). In the more recent past, the number of virtual friends that I have is very minimal and I do not put much effort into further establishing those relationships because I prefer my friendships to be deeper than just a blip on a screen. For example, my social media accounts are followed mostly by the friends that I have made throughout my life, the number of remaining followers is minimal and the people that I friend/follow are those same friends. I don’t go on social media to find and friend people just because their content is interesting to me. I need more depth than that provides.
Being a single dad, I feel that is it possible to cultivate some true intimacy online but it takes more than being just casual acquaintances. It would take an equal, if not greater, amount of effort to do this and I think that you would have to make use of every avenue if you wanted to cultivate true intimacy i.e. Facetime or telephone.
Vernon, M. (2010). In The meaning of friendship (p. 115). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.