Blogging has "Followers." I recently learned that Facebook has "Friends." And apparently the more "friends" you have the better, at least in terms of networking and platform building. As I've browsed through different Facebook pages, I've been amazed at the numbers of "friend" totals that some people have!
Maybe I'm playing word semantics, but I must ask the question anyway. Is Facebook distorting the meaning of the word "friend?" Would I consider someone from high school that I haven't seen or talked to in 20 years a "friend"? Could I truly call the big name authors and agents "friends" even though I only admire them from a distance? They might be on my Facebook list of "friends" but are they really friends?
What constitutes a friend in the truest sense of the word? We all value different qualities in our friends. but certainly we can all agree that a friendship must involve a genuine relationship. My pocket Webster defines friend as: close companion.
More specifically as writers, we need genuine friends who can encourage and challenge us in our writing journey and we can do the same for them.
Do Facebook friends fit that definition? Are they close companions or are they another "list" of people to help us in our quest for publication? For that matter, do any cyber friends live up to that definition?
I think I'm beginning to form some genuine relationships with cyber friends, but since I'm still fairly new to the cyber world, I'm not sure how it will all work out.
So, what's your take? Do you think our modern cyber world is distorting the meaning of the word "friend"? How would you define a true friend and can you find that kind of friendship in the cyber world?
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!