This article raises issues we need to be considering … Your thoughts?
And in a world of hyperconnectivity driven by technology that knows no bounds, what is happening to true friendship? Is it dying away? Or are the various social media “platforms” such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn simply redefining or transforming our modern-day notion of friendship? If so, what are the implications for life as we know it on this planet? Will we be happier? Will it promote the kind of meaningful existence that Aristotle was seeking and advocating?
As I have written in this blog many times before, the search for meaning is not only the primary intrinsic motivation of human beings; it is also a mega-trend of the 21st century. From such a meaning-focused perspective, where does friendship fit in? And how might the social media “advances” to which I’m referring here influence, directly and indirectly, the nature of friendships between people and the human quest for meaning?
To be sure, I have more questions than answers, although there are some trends that are worthy of mention on the subject. A recent article in USA Today by Mark Vernon, a research fellow at Birkbeck College in London, England, addressed the issue of the social media’s influence and concluded, “Just as our daily lives are becoming more technologically connected, we’re losing other more meaningful relationships. Yes, we’re losing our friends.”
In other words, the joys of real human contact are being replaced by electronic stimuli and “shallow” friendships, that is, “social connections” rather than the kind of true friendships described and espoused by Aristotle. In our post-modern society, there is evidence that while we have plenty of acquaintances, more and more of us have few individuals to whom we can turn and share our authentic selves, our deep intimacies.