Pen friends are passe! Internet social networks offering online friends is the buzzword.
With over 20 million online users above the age of 15 in India, the social networks are becoming very popular among them.
Orkut, the leading internet social network has eight per cent of its members logging in from India with almost three-fourth of online Indians looking for friendship. Fropper.Com, myspace.Com and pyardostihai.Com are friendship sites that cater to this niche populace - they are very popular with many netizens who want to meet people and explore life.
Divyesh Patel of pyardostihai.Com which has an active member count of 60 per cent Indians (with a fair share from NRIs) feels online friendships have the unique power of bonding different people. He says "...Majority of our members are from both US and India so this particular mix creates a certain kind of bond between the two kinds of populations."
Friendships across borders spanning thousand of kilometers are not uncommon in this age where heart-beats are transferred through optical fibers, feels Patel.
Old friends and school-mates, college-mates even relatives (that one knew just existed) are appearing on the web-horizon. Says Lily Agarwal, "The networks help me keep in touch with some friends with whom I thought I had lost touch... For others my cell does the trick".