A survey found 43% of online networkers from the US felt "as strongly" about their web community as they did about their real-world friends.
It also revealed net-users had made an average of 4.6 virtual pals this year.
The survey, from the US-based Center for the Digital Future, of 2,000 individuals forms part of a six-year study into attitudes to the web.
When I first started n the Internet, It was really just Usenet eg, Newsgroups. I never used my real name, and most people where the same. It was "Hello Space Ghost" or "Hello Pooka". I never felt the need to meet anyone I met online.
But just to contradict myself, most of the people I knew in the few years I was in NZ, I met via BBS or flatmates friends who coincidentally were also on the same BBS.
Second Life is sort of like the new Internet, but it's not the place to be yourself, it's the place to be what you want to be.
For many of the older residents, what happened in SL stayed in SL, and RL was separate. But it seems to be that the newer residents are just being themselves.
Some people just lie totally, and this can be really heartbreaking.
What do you do when old and new meet? Is one person being more honest than the other? Being of the old school, I've given this a lot of thought.
My personal belief is that any sort of cyber-based emotional involvement, without having a way to check who the other person behind the keyboard is, would be a major mistake.
But then I'm a boring person and like to play safe.
I've met some great people, and I count some of them as my friends, but I'm not planning on going to any SL meet ups. My SL has spilled over to RL a bit, and I'm a bit concerned that they might want to know more than I'm preparded to give.
I would really hate to think that I have been deceiving anyone, but it's only in SL that I could be a 6 foot tall, blond, pirate, buxom Barbie. ( and it's a fun thing to be, and remindes me of a cousin )
So I talk very vagely about myself, but I never lie to anyone, because if I care enough to communicate with you, I care enough not to want to hurt you.
Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends- Euripedes