Thursday 01 July 2010

Friending In The Digital Age

We are social creatures. With few exceptions, we prefer to be in the company of others with whom we can share our interests, our likes, and our dislikes. Over time, we make “friends” with those whom we consider to be trustworthy, sincere, and like-minded. We share personal information with our friends, through which we develop an emotional bond with them beyond that of mere acquaintances. However, the advent of online social media has redefined how we make “friends” in the digital age. In particular, the rising popularity of social networks has allowed those who choose to participate to expand their social reach and make quick connections with other individuals who have also chosen to participate. Yet, the ease by which such a relationship can develop undermines the standard by which we uphold to define a friendship. Making a “friend” on a social network often means merely sending an unsolicited request to an individual and waiting for the individual to approve the request to be included on a “friend” list. The act inherently bypasses all established etiquettes that otherwise screen out individuals whose motive for wanting to be a “friend” is neither sincere nor honorable. More importantly, defining our social reach by the number of “friends” we make on these social networks ignores the quality of the friendships by which we should instead judge the success of our social net worth. In other words, we must not be blinded by the lure of collecting “friends” in the virtual world and ignore the value of making “friends” in the real one.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under Friends • Under Tech • Under World
Public Post • CommentsTrackbacksPermalink