A very good friend, who I’ve known since ’95, and who lives in New York, but who I only get to see a few times a year, decided to pop over today of all days, just as the blizzard was blowing in.
“It’s snowing!” he texted.
“Are you afraid of the snow? I’d understand,” I answered.
“Accident on the bridge. We’re going to be late,” was his next message.
Social networking sites seem to have co-opted the word friend and diluted its meaning. Now friends of friends are friends (well, they always were), friends of their friends are friends, and even non-friends are friends through a few clicks. (Like the homonym clicks and cliques here.)
Though I have a lot of Facebook friends (962), it still feels like an intimate space to me. I only accept requests from those who include a personal note, and a unique one, at that. I’m thrilled to discover common ground with all people. In fact, I thrive on it.
What’s fascinating is how many friends I have in common with my husband, sisters, or even a newcomer. My husband David and I have 141 mutual friends. My older sister and I have 95 mutual friends. Laurel Touby (founder and cyberhostess of mediabistro.com) and I have 82 mutual friends. Jeff Newelt (aka Jah Furry, comics editor at SMITH Mag) and I have 85 mutual friends and growing.
So, my level of interconnectedness with people can now be measured. It’s interesting to think that we’re connected via ideas, geography, interests, pursuits, and combinations of the things that define us.
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t invent social networks, he just channeled the currents. (Don’t get me started on the movie about him — it just reminded me of the tremendous imbalance of wealth on our planet.)
If you type “define” then colon then a word in Google, it aggregates definitions. Try it for friend.
How do you define friend?