Saturday, 6 April 2013

F is for Facebook [and Aristotle] (A-Z Challenge)

"A friend to all is a friend to none"
Isn't social media an amazing phenomenon? I must admit that I am not a big Facebook user and only started using it as a way of maintaining easy communication with my kids when they started to move away to university. I'm not a big fan of 'technology for technology's sake'; there has to be a purpose or a good use to put it to.
But it seems to me that Facebook is seen by many, particularly the young, as the keystone of their identity: without it they do not exist or they will be excluded, overlooked and on the fringes of all that's good and exciting in the world. Kids are not officially going out with their boyfriend or girlfriend until Facebook states that they are 'in a relationship'; it actually needs to be written down in their profile! Facebook has become so ingrained in society that some young people (not all, of course) measure their self-worth by the number of 'friends' they accumulate and the image they portray in their online space. I wonder how many people have been made to feel somehow inadequate if they do not have hundreds of 'friends' on Facebook?
I know for certain that the quantity of 'friends' on Facebook says nothing about a person's ability to make friends, be sociable or have high self-worth. Isn't social media giving our young people the impression that they have a large circle of friends, while in reality they hardly ever see those people in person or even speak to them on the phone? Are they really friends or was Aristotle right when he said "a friend to all is a friend to none?"
What do you think?


  1. I too blogged about facebook, but in a different light. I disagree that they are people they don't know. With groups they can keep in touch with people they do know. And, meet others. I've met face to face people after meeting them on line.


    1. Hi Sandy, yes, I suppose there are as many different views/experiences of social media as there are people. Great to see you have a positive experience. I'll check out your blog about facebook. Thanks for your comments. Andy.

  2. I started using facebook as a way to network with other writers and publishers/editors etc. But I've also reconnected with some old friends and acquaintances, which is a lot of fun. I find it addicting and it can be a real burden to my writing, the whole reason I joined to begin with.

  3. Hey Heidi, it's great to hear your really positive experience with Facebook... catching up with old friends too. Thanks for your comments. Andy.

  4. I am not sure how much "self worth" people base on their FB friend count. If there are many out there, it is a terrible thing indeed.

    I avoided FB for years, but eventually gave in because so many others were using it (as if Myspace, which I was using at the time, was any better?)

    Many of the old "friends" I reconnected with were from high school and rarely do we ever engage in conversation. I've deleted most I knew from that time frame, because I feel if I had honestly wanted to reconnect I would have done so over the years. Though, FB is a great tool to find someone and engage in that process; Lost friends, family, etc.

    Most I've seen with hundreds of people are nothing more than people they play apps/games with, but have never known outside cyberspace.

    A handful have tried to disconnect from it, but they always come back. I've debated giving it an attempt myself. Don't think I would last long anymore. I'm in too deep, man. lol

  5. Never thought of facebook as giving a false sense of friendship. Hmmmm...

    I am not a big facebook fan. It's too much personal information available for too many people to see. I do use it though but not very often. I prefer twitter. 140 characters is my kind of thing!

    Take care!


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