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A new definition of friendship?

In an article which I am sure a lot of people will disagree with, Meghan Daum writes about a new understanding of friendship in our social networking world today. She described how a 2004 survey showed few people felt that they had a close confidant.  Maybe for the younger crowd, Facebook has helped on the friend front but for those of us over thirty, do we feel any less lonely even if we have hundreds of “friends?”  When I am asked to be someone’s “friend” on Facebook and I barely know them,  I begin to get a bit overwhelmed.   Basically, I am in Facebook to stay connected with the people I care about, to enter into “their world” so to speak.  And, for being accepted as their friend,  I really appreciate that.   Well, here is what Daum wrote.  Reactioins.

I think of a friend as an actual person with whom I have an actual history and who I enjoy actually seeing. It seems, however, that this is no longer the definition of “friend.”

A friend is someone on your Facebook page or in your Twitter circle. A friend is someone you might know personally but who could just as easily be the friend of a friend of some other Facebook friend you don’t actually know. In any case, these friends have been assigned value not necessarily because of anything they’ve actually done with you or for you, but because, well, they just exist in the world and so do you.

  1. citysocialising
    August 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    We at CitySocialising.com wholeheartedly agree with this along with the Archbishop’s comments yesterday in The Sunday Telegraph that Facebook and MySpace are leading young people to seek “transient” friendships, with quantity becoming more important than quality. CitySocialising was created to help people form real world connections and to get people out from behind their computer screens and into the face to face social fire. We know that real world friendships are far more valuable than online friendships and that interacting face-to-face with others is essential for a person’s wellbeing. Whilst the internet is a great tool to initiate new friend connections, it’s the offline meeting and socialising with these people through which genuine friendships are forged.

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