Friendship and Technology Contents Contents 2 Introduction 3 Social media platforms and change in friendships 3 Conclusion 8 References 9 Introduction Technology has become an integral part of human society in the era where information sees no geographical boundaries and there is exchange of information with the help of use of various technological and communication tools. The advent of digital media has helped people reach developmental milestones, such as fostering the sense of belongingness and sharing personal problems (Donath and Boyd).
However, there are questions related to the worth and value of use of technology in proliferating relations, such as friendship. The thesis of the research is as follows: technology has made friendships shallower specifically in the context of advent of social media platforms. Social media platforms and change in friendships Members in the social media network aim at creation of self-descriptive profiles, which include their links to other members or participants in the network, and display of social connections in the virtual world.
In todays information society, the ccess to information has become key element in showing status and power in communication. The social media websites, Facebook and Twitter can be referred to as products of this emerging culture. In the real world, people make connections through face-to-face meets and sending signals through their conversations. However, in the virtual world, there is no evidence or proof of the real identity of There is usually little or no verification in the process of signing up to these websites.
Thus, it is quite easy to create a false persona with the deceiver having a eries of false profiles and then linking all these profiles with each other. Thus, it creates the illusion of having a large number of connections in the form of a large number of friends, which actually does not even exist. In maintaining friendship relations, usually people add those people who they do not even know and even after becoming virtual friends, they do not talk much like actual physical world friends.
Therefore, technology, specifically the social networks, apps and other platforms have the concept of friendship shallow (Donath and Boyd). It is generally perceived that the use of computer-mediated communication leads o the facilitation of not only the maintenance of social ties but also leads to the formation of new relationships among people. Considering the case of adolescents, they can be regarded as early adopters of information and communication technologies with an inclination towards active involvement in the adoption of the internet.
The strength of the social ties both in the face-to-face and online relationships can be assessed by the means of a combination of variety of factors, such as intimacy of the tie, perceived closeness, reciprocity, trust and duration of the association. It is evident from studies that computer mediated communication is less appropriate for the support of emotional exchanges and lack of creation of strong social presence. Some studies such as that of Walther and Boyd (2002) mentioned by Mesch and ‘lad (2006) approve that the quality of online social ties is weaker than interactions done face to face.
In another study of college students, it was identified that social media communication is inferior to communication in person as a means of maintaining personal relationships (Mesch and ‘lad). The reduced social cues perspective implies that owing to the key characteristics f the internet, there is less suitability of online communication in the context of development of strong ties in comparison to face-to-face and phone communication. In the offline world, there are communities that usually are responsible for making the enforcement of privacy norms and general etiquette.
However, in the online world, there is no fettering of boundaries by real world communities, but there are new challenges related to etiquette issues. For instance, if someone does a friendship with an individual and that individual does not keep the overture, how serious the rejection can be considered. Such scenarios provide for days of agonizing. In addition, the online social networking sites are more about self- exposure rather than building friendships and intimacy. People create and conspicuously consume intimate details and images of one’s own as well as that of others.
It is the main activity on these social networking sites. It cannot create the strength in relationships as it created in face-to-face interactions (Donath and Boyd). Much of the time and energy is consumed in taking pains over presenting oneself as it is Just like the embodiment of the personality. Social networkers, mainly dolescent and young people are usually naive and are not much informed about the information they are making social. It has created a sense of carelessness among individuals.
Friendship in virtual spaces can be considered thoroughly different from real life friendships. In its traditional context, friendship is regarded as the and revealing intimate details over time and specific social as well as cultural contexts. However, the friendship in the virtual world can be described as promiscuous, fluid and public (Thomas). There is more concern about the process of collection, management and ranking of the people one knows. For instance, in Myspace, the users were encouraged to make more and more friends as if quantity and not the quality of friends matter.
Thus, there is more frantic friend procurement rather sharing of actual feelings that is the key to making string ties in friendship. The structure of these social networking sites also leads to bureaucratization of friendships. Although it is true that all people rank their friends rather even if it is in intuitive or unspoken ways. For instance, one friend can be a good companion for going out and see movies, while other can be good in socialization process at the professional settings. However, the social etworking platform allows individuals to rank their friends publicly.
Knowing about friends of friends does not make sense if one has not interacted with them in person. Thus, friendships are becoming shallow in the era of technology (Rosen). The use of the word friend’ in social networking sites is different and is a dilution and debasement. A person with the list of 400 or 500 facebook friends cannot believe himself that these all are real friendships. The need to make as many friends possible on the social media platform has not come out of lack of companionship in the era of technology, but from the need of getting status.
The design of these technological platforms is such that users are encouraged to check in frequently, post comments on pages of other people, poke them and like their photos and events. Thus, these sites favor interaction of more quantity but less quality (Rosen). It is not the effect of use of technology, but the overuse of technology that people feel anxious of not present online because they think that if they are not constantly online, or poking or texting someone, then they are missing something.
It is definitely going to affect the friendship behavior of adolescent and young people who are growing up seeing and using these tools. A study revealed that heavy users of social networking sites find themselves more detached from the real world activities and the communities around them. Individuals who use social networking sites more for the purpose of entertainment, the consequence is decrease in their level of social involvement. Thus, there are implications for narcissism and exhibition through intruding nature of technology in everyday life of people.
With so much time and energy involved in making oneself and his profile better in the virtual world, people are missing chances to make them better in actual and genuine way (Thomas). Nevertheless, Rosen (2007) argued that in the era of technology where people can actually have access to information, activities and tasks by Just a click of the mouse, online social platforms are seen as the official and convenient surrogates for offline community and related friendships. Thus, there are friendships and communities in both the offline and the online world.
Virtual networks increase the opportunities to meet with a large number of people, but there are also results and consequences in the form of people less valuing the capacity of making connections that are actually enuine and intimate (Rosen). As identified by Laurence Thomas (2013), having 5000 friends on social media there is no doubt that technology has played a significant role in becoming the greater facilitator of communication, yet it is not confirmed that it is also the great facilitator of conversation.
In face-to-face conversation, there is enormous spontaneity with presence of moments where friends can respond to one another in ways that are affirming. In the context of companion friendship, it is quite usual that no such type of friendship may last for forever, thus what matters is the time that is pent together whether it is seeing movie, going shopping, hanging and eating etc. The main point is that they are spending time and talking to one another with sharing their emotions and reacting in front of each other.
However, with increasing trend of texting and posting on social networking sites getting privilege over conversation, the question that arises in a forceful way is about the future of such interactions when companion friendship will be gone and people will have nothing in their memory, as they were busier texting and messaging rather meeting in person (Thomas). Although, Mazman and Yasemin (2011) identified the gender differences in the use of social media, yet there are significant evidence that both males and females use these sites as the form of public display and getting more and more recognition in the virtual social world.