Friends suck and are a huge drain. I go out with my friends to bars every other week, and since I'm always reading something or catching up on an anime I have to drop shit to fit the schedule of everyone.
Then you don't do much other than drink and smile as they tell you a story you are not interested in, you tell a story they aren't interested in and they smile, you spend money you rather not have spent on social things like food, drinks, gas, tickets to events, etc.
The total enjoyment received from that isn't very large in proportion to time spent. At home I can easily maximize or at least push much more fun in shorter time spans.
I'm not sure what it is you think friends are, but online conversations as anonymous posters is much better as people let go of many inhibitions and have no problem with telling you exactly what they think. Another benefit is that this semi-conversation I am having right now will be with multiple people, anyone who reads this post and at whatever convenience of time they and I have, unlike real world contacts which are overly inefficient.
Maybe you're just the weird one out in here or don't have much experience with friendships, since
>by the presence of someone whose company I'd enjoy.
Is something that many people do to me and it infuriates me. How exactly is your enjoyment of anything any better just because I'm in the same room as you? This happens with family too, that invites me over and we do absolutely nothing but they said they enjoyed themselves with me only sitting on the couch looking at my watch every two minutes.