That term is ambiguous in the modern era of soul-less profiles of the social networks. Cell phone contact lists are rarely used for conversations, but more frequently used for texting with a broken up cyberspace language which rarely reveals individuality and sincerity.
LOL :) Takes the place of the exchange of laughter between two friends. It replaces the individuality of your facial expressions which can only translate between two best friends.
Best friends are reduced to two grains of sand in a sea of profiles which rarely use a real name or a real personality.
Is it the fate of the social network to drain the social skills of generations?
Friends hang out at the mall, I phones/Blackberries in hand, communicating with their other friends while in the presence of their friends. It is safe to say, that mans best friend has become a gadget, filled with cartoons.
I only have one real friend who calls my phone with real extended conversation at least three times a week. Others dwindle on the social networks, asking me to send #s to their inbox's to reveal how they feel about me. And on the phone, instead of conversing with me, They lethargically text yellow faces that look nothing like them. I am left liking their status and a phone full of yellow faces.
I can no longer hangout with anyone and expect their full undivided attention, I can expect a jingle to interrupt our conversation at least once every two minutes. Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging and Texting abruptly deflate all feelings of appreciation, sincerity and bond.
We multiply our friends lists while our dining room table sits empty. With 2000 friends we will be sure to have an audience. But the audience doesn't speak, it only applauds.
We spend our time, peeking into other people's lives, pretending we are apart of them while they secretly do the same thing. We are only as special as the pictures we post or the clever tweets we display.
Friendship, it could mean anything in the age of the social network, where being social has taken on a less social meaning. Where hanging out on Friday night needs only start with one application on Facebook and one Tweet pic away from, "Look at what I did last night." And last night, you met another internet disaster, during a Yahoo Groups meeting at the club where you happened to meet a middle aged librarian from E Harmony. She was supposed to be 25 in spaghetti straps...
Our lives are no longer private. We display them for the entire world to gawk at. For people to SHARE and your identity spreads like a virus, your loneliness successfully disguised by a "TOP 8" on MySpace when you know it's only your "TOP 5" on T Mobile who actually know your last name but who didn't make the social networks friends list cut. How backwards.
We all want to feel special and we all want to be POPULAR. The social networking age has effected the baby boomers who reinvent themselves at 50, becoming a popular comedian with a friends list of 3000 from 30 different nations. However the 90s babies and beyond, are only keen to this cyberspace existence. They don't know how to write a love letter in class, they only know how to send a "flirty face" on text.
Who are we becoming? Who really cares about you? When everyone is listed as a friend, to whom do you turn to for comfort?