I have ‘met’ some wonderful people through the internet. I know what they look like, what they eat, where and how they live even though we have never met face to face.
When we read a book we get to know the character through their dialogue. Forums are a good way to get to know people too. Some post a carefully crafted message, much like a polished piece of prose while others rattle off words like a freewrite. We may not be able to see their expressions or hear their tone, but by changing the font size or adding emoticons we can help convey meaning.
I love the freedom of conversation technology brings. Our children will build relationships using methods we can only imagine. I used to worry that my children would suffer without the freedom of the great outdoors. I am delighted that we have managed to balance freedom safely thanks to mobile phones and iPods.