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The new way of saying “friends”

David Tebbutt is an award-winning columnist and feature writer who specialises on the subject of using software and technology to increase business productivity, in his opinion: “The social stuff connects birds of a feather together and face-to-face can always follow an online encounter if it’s considered important enough”.

In order to discuss Tebbutt’s point of view and to compare the face-to-face traditional method with the online method, I have had a look on Facebook to see which kinds of people are those who tend to have thousands of friends. Furtheremore, I will be focused on the uses that these people do of Facebook so as to find out their possible motivations to deal with such a quantity of friends. Here goes the list:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, is the founder of Facebook.
  • Jimmy Wales, is the founder of Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”, one of the 10 most popular webs in the world. He has 4,534 friends.
  • Tiscar Lara, Vice-Dean of digital culture. Journalist and teacher.
  • Angela Zäh is also related to our task because she works in spreading Facebook round the world with a focus on Germany, central Europe and Russia.
  • Patxi Lopez is not really related to our topic but we can interpret him as a politician that uses social networks to promote his public profile.

One of the questions that may come up to us is whether Facebook’s friends can be regarded as well as the real friends in terms of real friendship.

Normally, frienship builds in at least one shared or common objective in life, or intellectual interest. Many people can get on very well among them, however, if they do not entertain certain common purposes, aims or objectives there will not be anything that links them. Therefore, everything will remain on the surface.

As a conclusion, the kind of friends that people make through social-networks are very similar to those made by the old face-to- face method. It would not be odd to say therefore, that every relationship is based on a kind of symbiosis between two people that sustain or share common interests. Despite this, there remains the question of whether it is better the old method or the networking method.

What do you think?

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