Meeting people online is the surest way to get decapitated and thrown into a ditch.

Wait... what am I talking about? I think I just got possessed by my mother for a second... that’s something that she would say. I, on the other hand, know that I am so lucky to have found and connected with people I have met online, and some of them have become closer and more important to me than some “real life” friends.

Fearless Networkers

This morning I dropped my son off at daycare and was greeted by two little boys in his class.

“Hi, A.J.’s Mommy!” they clamored, as I hung my son’s coat on the hook.
“Hi Mason. Hi Mark.” I said back to them.

Within a few moments, little Cole and Carter came over to us. They started making silly faces at me. Pretty soon all six of us were standing there making faces at each other, hooting like Indians, and beating our chests like gorillas. We laughed and continued for a minute or two… then Cole said, “A.J.’s Mommy is my friend.”

How cool is that? I mean, this little three year-old was bold and courageous enough to make a friend. That’s what I call fearless networking.

Finding Friends

I think it’s a pity that we lose some of that as we get older… That chutzpah that makes us walk over to someone and befriend them. Most of us stay stuck in growth-retarding relationships with old and “comfortable” friends where the only thing you share is a lack of plans for Friday night.

Or worse yet, we resort to “friendships” with our co-workers. Those relationships are generally centered around unproductive vent sessions...

“I hate the boss.”
“This place sucks.”
“What time are we going to lunch to talk about how much we can’t stand our stupid job?”

Is that really friendship?

No... not in my opinion.

Meeting People Online

What makes meeting people online so great is that you generally go online freely and end up looking for things that interest you. You join groups, visit websites, or frequent discussion boards based on the things that are important to you.

I have friends from all around the country and the world whom I feel closer to than some people that I see regularly. There are some friends whom I’ve known for years… I’ve had the opportunity to watch their children grow up. I was there when they found out they were pregnant. I felt their joy burst through the screen.

They share my successes and share their successes with me. When I need a shoulder to cry on or some advice about a sticky situation, they are right there... one click away... helping me, encouraging me, and loving me. Meeting people online has been such a pleasure for me.

And when I met up with some of them, after driving for hours in my car, it felt so natural to have a conversation with them… I mean, we were real friends, who have known each other for years. It's excellent.

Finding Love Online

I guess the natural progression of making friends online would be finding love online. Meeting people whom you share a deep soul connection with...on the internet? Is that possible?

My answer: Absolutely.

I can’t say that I have found a romantic interest online (yet) ...But I have found a soul mate.

{Ugh. I know, I have to elaborate on the soul mate thing because although I am slightly romantic, I don’t believe in ONE SOUL that you are just meant to be with in this lifetime. I think that a soul mate is someone (or a lot of someone’s) who bring out the best in you. This person could be a teacher figure who pushes you to your limits, a child whom you guide, or a friend who really “gets” you. For the sake of argument, let’s just say that soul mates are people who touch you at the deepest levels.}

I met one of my soul mates on MySpace last year. Our "off-line" friendship has developed into one of the most fulfilling and affectionate relationships that I have ever experienced. He and I can talk for literally HOURS… and really help each other sort through the issues of the day. We’re the best of friends… and it all started with a click on a profile. I love technology.

My point is that meeting people online is what you make of it...just like meeting people in “real life”. If you approach the people around you with honesty and openness, that's what you'll get back. Making a new friend, finding a soul mate, or just walking around in someone’s world for a while is all possible when you simply step out of your comfort zone and say “Hi”. The reward of relating is so much greater than the risk of rejection.

Happy friend-making~

Author's Bio: 

I'm Tiffany, creator and author of the FirstLoveYou.com website as well as The Ladies Workshop Magazine at www.theladiesworkshop.com. I am a motivational speaker, webmaster, and blogger who quit my corporate job in January '08 to pursue a life in which I create. I am serious about personal growth and passionate about people and relationships. Please visit www.firstloveyou.com and thanks so much for reading my work!