Over the years, I have met many wonderful people online and have a few friendships which started online and evolved into something so pure, true and real. I have also learnt online far more than I could have ever learned from any one teacher or in any classroom.
However, the dangers lurking behind our screens cannot be overemphasized. Many people hide behind their screens with evil intentions to cause strife, malice, chaos, enmity and spread hate. We have seen situations where several people have committed suicide due to cyber bullying. The sort of things that could never be told to their faces, they had hurled at them through their screens via the internet. While some people may think them weak for committing suicide as a result, I can relate with the victims. I have seen some really nasty bile and backlash spewed at others and wondered about the victims' capabilities to cope with such hate. We are all different human beings with varying levels of tolerance threshold, thus while one person may seem oblivious to online hate, others may not be able to handle it and opt for suicide or other dangerous ways to deal with such.
Over the years we have also had cases of murder over the internet. You know the scenario of boy meets girl online and have textual affairs before opting to take it offline and them BAM! Turns out one of them is a serial killer or sycophant. Sigh. The sad part of this is that it is often very difficult to know a person's true character online. One can easily "wear" any character one wants behind the screen, as easily as putting on a costume, and no one would be any wiser often at least until a physical engagement occurs.
Over the past few years, I have heard all sorts of stories about the horrors on internet and therefore I implore everyone to be extra careful before jumping headlong into online friendships or relationships. A little bit of caution never hurt anyone, rather it helps you put things in perspective.