I'm not sure how, but I stumbled upon this piece about coming to terms with online friendships. I've been thinking about a “post-physical” lifestyle quite a bit lately and perhaps this pushed me over the top.
One of the things that made our friendship special was the fact that we could share our thoughts without being self-conscious. Since we weren’t facing each other, there was no sting of shame when the other person frowned or flinched at what you said. Not that we didn’t disagree, we did, but our keyboards kept disagreements conversational. The distance is one of the things that kept us close.
Perhaps not platonic, but the lack of proximity, that what-you've-come-to-expectness, is what makes each of my online friendships feel so true. You realise quickly that what makes for a solid friendship is connection. However that connection is made—regardless of the medium that carries it or the content of our mutual interest—does not matter, what is important is that you're willing to be human and open up. Vulnerability and honesty are the real hallmark of friendship.
I'll end on this final note:
What defined my friendship with Ray, and I dare say, what defines friendship is not the proximity between friends, but the impact of our interactions.