I just found out that one my of long time "online friends" is black. I really don't care but it got me thinking ... (dangerous, I know). I really don't care what race you are... or any other demographic related thing. Really. It doesn't matter to me. You could be purple for all I care (though you should probably see a doctor about that). However, I am not so naive as to believe that it doesn't matter to others.
But when you are on the internet, nobody can tell if you are black or white, gay or straight, short or tall, Christian or Muslim, fat or underweight, gorgeous or ugly, dirty or clean, web-toed or anything else unless you want them to know. Pretty much every website now lets you have an avatar, but you can put a picture of your dog (or cat) or anything else instead of a picture of yourself.
When discussing things like chat rooms or dating sights, this is often put in a negative light, but I think it can be a positive too. The internet is often given a bad rap. People say it's a time-waster, it's ruining face-to-face communication, blah blah. I just think the internet needs a new PR person (my sister is looking for a job!) to put the right spin on things.
My point is, you can form an online friendship with someone based solely on what they think, write and say. You can have hours of conversation of interaction and never give a thought to their skin color or geographic location. It's the perfect color-blind filter. It's pretty awesome when you think about it.
On a related note, check out this TED video about The Web as Random Acts of Kindness: