I always ask people what the term “Facebook friend” means. A few weeks ago, when I posed this question, someone lamented that the Facebook phenomenon was discounting the term friend. He said that friend is an important word, one that ought be protected. He worried that we are diminishing it’s meaning by using it so loosely.
Reading the Huffington Post today, I came across this article on the difference between being friendly and having friendships. Like my interview, the story raises some important distinctions about what it means to be in genuine relationship with a friend.
I took the picture to the right in Italy several years ago. The four women had just left an evening church service. They walked arm in arm through the crowded plaza, erupting every few feet in boisterous laughter. They walked, laughed, and talked the entire way home. Stalking them with my camera, I was captivated by their friendship. I still am.
What do you think? Are we cheapening the term friend and with it losing an understanding of what real friendship is? What do you think it means to be “Facebook friends”?