OK. I actually did this. I know people think it's a myth, a joke, a long shot...but it's not.
Recently I acquired an extra poster of one of my very favorite bands, Nashville P- Word (lame, Christine...really lame) and since I have a friend (one you may refer to as 'just a facebook friend') who is also a rabid fan, I decided to send it to him. He lives in Belgium, which is where the best chocolate in the WORLD lives, too. I know this because he sent me some as a 'thank you'. It was not necessary to thank me, but WOW, I'm so glad he did!! Now my brain is in overdrive trying to think of things to send him that he'll be grateful for because I swear to God that they put crack in that chocolate because I've had to beat everyone away from it with a baseball bat, which is BAD because I strongly believe I've had PMS for two weeks now and all I dream about is chocolate anyway...ahem.
My point is, one of us (I can't remember who) sent the other a friend request that was random. The other one accepted. Now, we communicate occasionally (making sure I survived the tornadoes this spring, asking questions about cultural things we may not totally understand about the other person's way of life. Like the time I explained Thanksgiving. But I totally had to Google it because I forgot what it was all about and I couldn't remember if Miles Standish was part of Thanksgiving or a cartoon character from Rocky and Bullwinkle). Now, I consider us FRIENDS, in the real sense of the word. Not just 'facebook friends'. (I want to add that this is NOT because he sent me chocolate...it's because we've taken the time to nurture and develop an actual friendship. But if you don't know me and you really, really WANT to be my friend, chocolate is a great way to start!)
I have other friends I've made on facebook and myspace, too- ones I may or may not actually ever have an opportunity to meet in real life, but I consider them as real and important to me as the friends I hug every day (you all know I'm a hugger, right?). My advice (though you didn't ask, but I know you want) is to take a chance and send someone you don't know a friend request- maybe you'll share the same interests, maybe you'll just think their profile picture is cool, maybe they just look interesting...maybe they'll think you're creepy and ignore you, I make no promises. But maybe, perhaps, if you're lucky. you'll end up with a REAL friend.