Read the article below and answer the question(s) that follow.
Virtual people, real friends
by Anna Pickard (The Guardian)
The benefits of forming friendships with those we meet online are obvious, so why is the idea still treated with such disdain?
Another week, another survey claiming to reveal great truths about ourselves. This one says that people are increasingly turning “online friends” into people they’d think worthy of calling real-life friends. Well, that’s stating the obvious, I would have thought! If there’s a more perfect place for making friends, I have yet to find it. However, when surveys like this are reported in the media, it’s always with a slight air of “it’s a crazy, crazy world!” And whenever the subject crops up in the conversation, it’s clear that people look down on friends like these. In fact some members of my family still refer to my partner of six years as my “Internet Boyfriend.”
It’s the shocked reaction that surprises me as if people on the internet were not “real” at all. Certainly, people play a character online quite often – they may be a more confident or more argumentative version of their real selves – but what’s the alternative? Is meeting people at work so much better than making friends in a virtual world? Perhaps, but for some a professional distance between their “work” selves and their “social” selves is necessary, especially, if they tend to let their guard down and might say or do something they will later regret.
Those people disapproving of online friendships argue that the concept of “friendship” is used loosely in a world driven by technology, in which you might have a thousand online friends. They make a distinction between “social connections” – 1acquaintances who are only one click away – and meaningful human interaction, which they say requires time and effort. They note that for many Facebook “friends,” conversation is a way of exchanging information quickly and efficiently rather than being a social activity.
However, I’ve found that far from being the home of oddballs and potential serial killers, the internet is full of like-minded people. For the first time in history, we’re lucky to enough to choose friends not by location or luck, but by those who have similar interests and senses of humour, or passionate feelings about the same things. The friends I’ve made online might be spread wide geographically, but I’m closer to them than anyone I went to school with, by millions miles. They are the best friends I have.
Obviously, there will be concerns about the dangers of online friendship. There are always stories buzzing around such as “man runs off with the woman he met on Second Life” or people who meet their “soulmate” online and are never seen again. But people are people, whether online or not. As for “real” friendship dying out, surely, is social networking simply redefining our notion of what this is in the twenty-first century? The figures – half a billion Facebook users worldwide – speak for themselves. And technology has allowed countless numbers of these people to keep in close contact with their loved ones, however far away they are. Without it, many disabled or household people might go without social contact at all. Call me naive, call me a social misfit, I don’t care. Virtual people make best real friends.
Adapted from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jan/02/internet-relationships
Which alternative contains the correct conditionalto complete the gap below?
He would have chatted with his Facebook friends last night if he ___________ so busy.
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