The meaning of “friendship”

Someone I have never met or spoken to has just accepted my friend request on Facebook. The fact that it’s gorgeous uber-geek Amber MacArthur is neither here nor there. Currently she is approaching 2,000 other friends.

How is the explosion of online social networking changing our view and value of friendship? The fact that it is so easy to keep in touch with friends with the help of technology makes me think that maybe it’s taken for granted. In fact, another study published in 2006 claim that 25% of Americans feel that they have no-one to confide in and have fewer close friends than they did only a decade ago.

A 2003 MSN study revealed that an average Brit will make 396 friends in a lifetime of which we count six as close friends. We’ll stay in touch with just one in twelve of them – a little over 8%.

At the end of the 1990’s, the Institute of Social Research claimed that our desire to make new friends starts to wane from the age of 30 onwards. I wonder if that’s still the case?

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