29 November 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Friendship through Social Media.... essay by Mariona

Dear friends,

The essay promised by Mariona:

One of human being's main features is their sociability. As Aristotle said,
we are social beings by nature. We need others to survive; for instance, we
would have never been able to learn our language without having someone to
teach it to us. However, as technology evolves, the further away we move
from each other. From the previous statement we can ask ourselves: is
social media putting an end to our innate sociability?

Interactions between people vary depending on how personal they are, the
reason(s) why they exist, the time they last… While with some people we are
acquaintances, with others we develop a more personal and close
relationship, resulting in friendships. Technological advances have allowed
us to connect to people in many different ways, as a result, they have a
clear impact on how we make and maintain our friends. Nowadays you can get
to know people without the need of seeing them physically, and you can
maintain long-distance friendships you had developed in the past.
Therefore, can it be said that social media has a positive impact on our
friendships? Do they strengthen them?
As I see it, each one of us has two personas: a real-life and an online
one. The real-life one is composed by how we actually are: the way we
behave, talk, dress... The online persona is artificial, we create it. We
reflect through social media the best part of our selves, but it is not
exactly a real image of our true self. So, how can friendships be authentic
through social media?

On one hand, social media might not be 'killing' our friendships, but
adding a new category. Aristotle highlighted three different types of
friendships: (1) for utility (both parties benefit from the relationship);
(2) accidental (based on same interests); (3) the true friendships (last
all our lives; based on a similar appreciation of virtue and life). Social
media might be a fourth type of friendship, for instance. Or we could even
classify our 'online friendships' into one of the categories Aristotle
pointed out.

On the other hand, if I am not myself in my social media profiles, my
friendships will turn out to be fake. To get to know well a person, you
need to see him/her in real-life, as it is then when we perceive their
true-self, and an authentic connection can be resulted from this offline

So, in order to discuss this topic, we should consider different subtopics:
do we need to show our true selves in order to gain true friendships? Can
online friends be categorized as another kind of friendship? Is social
media positive or negative towards how we interact with each other?


Best Lawrence

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