Social sites are becoming a common place for people to interact, meet others, and build friendship. Online friendship can be for mere fun or can also be considered seriously. This will depend on the person's sincerity to push thru with friendship online amidst the distance and physical absence.
Newbies in the internet are usually amazed by how people can be so friendly, helpful and interesting. This happens in social sites and forums where active participation is required. In forums and discussion sites, there is more opportunity for members to learn about other members' personality, beliefs, ideas and even personal life. Just imagine making friends in person and mingling and chatting for hours. That is also possible among people who only have met in the internet. However, with all the cyber bullying, stalking and even phaedophilia cases in the web, online friendship needs to be thought of seriously and more cautiously.
I have met few individuals online that I was also able to meet in person (in a gathering with my former classmates and colleagues; I invited few of my online friends as well). The experience was great as I did not expect these online friends to be really serious as well in building friendship with me. As of this date, I have four friends whom I initially met through an online forum. These friends are the ones encouraging me, teaching me and supporting me in all the work I do online and even offline. Yes, online friendship is possible to be true and real. I am one of the millions of people in the world who were given a chance to meet and befriend wonderful individuals.
It is of utmost importance though to emphasize here that not all 'online friendships' can be successful and even safe in many cases. There are still lots of people online who are looking for opportunities to abuse and scam individuals. Be safe.