The Internet is changing the definition of friendship.
Because of my blog, I tend to have a lot of people who I don’t know and have never met request to be my friend on Facebook. Like everyone else, I blindly accept pretty much anyone. My wife gets it, too, on Virb.com. A couple days ago she said, “Look at this person who requested my friendship.” The way she said it sparked something in me I hadn’t thought of before: the Internet is changing our definition of friendship. A person we’ve never met, never talked to and have never heard of instantly becomes a friend just by clicking the “Accept” button. In real life this person would be called a stranger. If you talk a time or two they become an acquaintance and if you intentionally hang out together maybe then they’d be considered a friend. Not so online.
I wonder what kind of ramifications this will have on the “Myspace generation.” We already know that the Internet has completely altered teenagers’ perspective of community and now possibly on the individual level of friendship, too.
I don’t really have any answers here, just something I’ve been thinking about.
Posted on October 30, 2007