FILM 260: How Facebook is Changing the Definition of the Word Friend
You’ve Got a Friend in Me:How facebook is changing themeaning of riendshipBy: Patrick Ryan
Traditionally friendship has meant a personal,reciprocated relationship.Image via octaviolopez (morguefile)
Image via Wikimedia Commons“A true friendfreely, advises justly, assistsreadily, adventuresboldly, takes all patiently, defendscourageously, and continues afriend unchangeably.” -William Penn
A friend is no longer defining title of apersonal relationship but a verb used to“friend” someone on Facebook.Image via John Russell (Flickr)Facebook is changing the definitionof the word friend.
“One person can maintain amaximum of 150 personal socialrelationships...”-Robin DunbarProfessor of Evolutionary PsychologyOxford“any more and they become un-personalized. Voyeursinto your little world.”Image via Wikimedia Commons
Image via kaysha (flickr)Thanks to Facebook you now always know exactly howmany friends you have... or don’t have.
A study conducted by PEW Internet found that in thesample conducted the average person had 245 friends.Image via Ianus Keller (flickr)Even 500+ Facebook friends is a commonoccurrence.Source: Hampton, Keith et al., Why mostFacebook users get more than they give
So most people have moreFacebook friends than theycan possibly maintainREAL friendships with.Image via missyredboots (morguefile)
To raise that number even further you must request anew friend. A strange concept for traditional friendships.Photo via ansik (flickr)
That means for a 13 year-old ready to joinFacebook for the first time this year, theconcept of a Facebookfriend has beenaround as longas they’vebeen makingfriends.Image via WIkimedia Commons
A PEW Internet study found that 1 in 6 online teens wereconnected to “friends” on social networking sites who they hadnot met in person...Source: Lenhart, Amanda and Madden, Mary,Teens, Privacy and Online Social NetworksImage via Facebook.com
and 1 in 3 social networking teens had “friends” they had neverpersonally met.Image via Karti Gabor (morguefile)
Facebook changes the concept of a traditional friendship by allowingyou to socialize with “friends” without ever having to meet them face-to-face.If you have never met someone in person you cannever be sure ofwho they really are.Image via epSos.de (flickr)
A PEW Internet study found that:43% of social networkingteens have beenapproached online bya complete stranger,someone with no connectionto any other friendsSource: Lenhart, Amanda and Madden, Mary,Teens, Privacy and Online Social NetworksImage via mzacha (morguefile)
Girls aged 15-17 were the most likely to reportsome kind of stranger contact:51% of the girls surveyedOnly 30% of boys in the same age group onlyreported similar contact.Source: Lenhart, Amanda and Madden, Mary,Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks Image via Wikimedia Commons
Despite the large number of teenscontacted by strangers online,Source: Lenhart, Amanda and Madden, Mary, Image via Eve Arnold65% just ignored the contact
This does not mean that theyrecognize a true friend.Image via Alvimann (morguefile)Although, teens are able to recognize“stranger danger”,
Facebook has the capability ofmaintaining friendships but it shouldnot create one.Image via o0o0xmods0o0o (morguefile)
The definition of friend is a relative one. It is up to you todecide if someone is truly a friend or just anacquaintance on Facebook.
Sources• http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Teens-Privacy-and-Online-Social-Networks/6-Friendship-Strangers-and-Safety-in-Online-Social-Networks/01-One-in-four-online-teens-make-friends-on-social-networks.aspx• http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Facebook-users.aspx• http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/18--Social-Isolation-and-New-Technology.aspx• http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Teens-Privacy-and-Online-Social-Networks/6-Friendship-Strangers-and-Safety-in-Online-Social-Networks/01-One-in-four-online-teens-make-friends-on-social-networks.aspxImage via rilegator (flickr)