Are Online Friends Real Friends?
Modern computer technology has made a new kind of human relationship possible: online friendship. ____(1)____. Are online friendships as beneficial as face-to-face friendships? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having virtual friends? Can people form strong bonds online? Today these questions are the subject of lively debate1.
Some people believe that the Internet is the best way to make new friends. It’s convenient, it’s fast, and it allows to make contact with different kinds of people from all over the world. When you use social networking websites and chat rooms, you can easily find people with interests and hobbies similar to yours2. Information updates and photos add to the experience. Making friends on the Internet is especially good for shy people who feel uncomfortable in social situations. It’s often easier to share thoughts and feelings online. ____(2)____. They can make people feel less lonely and help them solve problems.
Although the Internet can encourage friendship, it has a major disadvantage. ____(3)____. Online friends only tell you what they want you to know. They sometimes exaggerate their good qualities and hide the less positive ones, so you can’t be sure of what they really like3. That is why you should not give personal information to anyone online unless you’re totally sure of who that person is.
Can online friendship be as meaningful as face-to-face ones? There are different points of view. Researchers at the University of Southern California surveyed 2,000 households in the United States. The results showed that more than 40 percent of participants feel “as strongly about their online buddies”as they do about their “offline”friends. ____(4)____. In contrast, there are many people who believe that it’s not possible to have deep relationships with online friends. A young Indian software engineer, Lalitha Lakshmipathy，says，“it’s good to feel connected with many people, but all my e-buddies are not necessarily my close friends. ”____(5)____. They say that it’s hard to develop feelings of trust and connection when you don’t share experiences in person4.
People continue to express different opinions about online friendship. However, most of them would agree that virtual friendships must not replace face-to-face friendships. As one life coach says, “a social networking site should only be the ‘add on’ in any relationship.”
acquaint / əˈkweint / v.使熟悉
lively / ˈlaivli / adj.热烈的
deceive / diˈsi:v/ vt.欺骗
exaggerate / igˈzædʒəreit / v.夸大
beneficial / ˌbeniˈfiʃəl / adj. 有益的
update / ˌʌp'deɪt / vt. 更新
buddy / ˈbʌdi] / n. 朋友
add on 补充
1.Today these questions are the subject of lively debate.：现今这些问题成了人们热议的话题。
2.When you use social networking websites and chat rooms, you can easily find people with interests and hobbies similar to yours.：当你浏览社交网站和进人聊天室聊天时，你会很容易找到志趣相投的人。
3.They sometimes exaggerate their good qualities and hide the less positive ones, so you can’t be sure of what they really like.：他们有时会夸大自己的优点而掩盖缺点，让你看不清他们的庐山真面目。
4.They say that it’s hard to develop feelings of trust and connection when you don’t share experiences in person.：他们认为，由于缺乏共同的经历，与网友发展信任和联系很困难。
A.In addition, virtual friends can offer emotional support.
B.When you’re not face to face, it’s much easier to deceive people.
C.Many people would agree.
D.Researchers also found that it’s not unusual for online friends to become face-to-face friends.
E.Online friends may be of help in many ways.
F.Online friends，or virtual friends，are people who have become acquainted with each other through the Internet.
1.F开头第一句讲了现代计算机技术给人类带来了一种新型的人际关系，即网友。而这一句是对网友的定义，即人们通过网络认识的朋友。第二句的开头online friends与第一句的结尾online friendship承上启下，是文章写作的要素。
2.A本段讲的是网上交友的有利因素：方便快捷;分享真情实感比社交场合容易得多。本句的开头in addition (另外)引出对以上有利因素的补充。