Ashleigh Young reflects on the nature of friendship: online, offline and old school

I receive a strange, formal message request on Facebook. "I am seeking someone of your name who once resided at this address in New Zealand." The address is in my home town, and the message is from someone named Ben. I know him immediately. As a kid, I posted a "Pen pal wanted" ad on an internet message board. Ben and I began to email each other. I didn't know he was a divorced man in his 50s in California and, he says, he didn't know that