Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Studies are indicating that we (people, society) are not forming the close friendships than we were a generation ago, despite having access to more “friends” due to social media. As I understand it texting and ‘facebooking’ have made the majority of our friendships superficial. I mean really of my 135 ‘friends’ on facebook, how many truly know me? How many people need to truly know me? That’s my question. I have my deep friendships and family connections that are enhanced by social media, so what if the rest are “superficial.”
My deep friends and family keep me grounded and somewhat provide the belief that someone really knows me and still likes me. I feel, strongly, that social media may not have deepened those relationships, but certainly has augmented them by allowing easier access to those friends and family. Recently my mother was hospitalized (ok, she is still in the hospital and I’m writing this just a few feet from her) and social media allowed me to keep all those close to me informed.
My “superficial” friends make me smile from time to time; they share their superficial lives and interests, and expose me to ideas I would not have come up with on my own. During the above mentioned hospitalization of my mom those causal friends offered support and many well wishes, some even opened up about their own mothers moving them closer to the genuine friend category.
I can say that my life has improved, even if superficially, because of social media and I am thankful for the connections it has allowed me to establish and deepen.