Online Friendship: Real or Fake?

There are many varying opinions regarding online friendships and whether they are genuine or not. As an individual who has lived abroad, I cherish the opportunity that social media platforms give me in order to keep in touch with my friends who live all over the world. Without Facebook, Instagram, and FaceTime, I would not be able to keep a reliable line of communication with one of my best friends who lives in Jeju, South Korea. Despite this fact, I cannot say that social media accessibility has helped my friendships that are close to me thrive. The following quote from the chapter discussing friendship in the book is something I see in my life everyday. “Telephone calls put you on the spot. Texting gives more space to say things right and make things right. If you do something wrong you can fix it right away.” Often times someone will call me when I am in class or while I am in the middle of doing homework. Instead of picking up the phone and saying, “Hey can we talk later?” I just decline the call and text her saying the same thing. In my mind, I see this as an easier way to get out of the conversation. Moreover, I am sure that everyone has had their fair share of high school drama. When I had an argument with someone, it would always be over text message. This is because the concept of formulating a perfect response has become so natural in our society today. However, the argument probably would go completely differently if it were in person since there is no time to double check your response. In my opinion, I find this ability to make responses “perfect” is just turning conversations into fake and scripted words. It is very easy to type a response that the other person wants to hear, or sounds more pleasing. But, would the person actually be like that during a real conversation? This chapter leads me to question the conversations I have had over text message and consider their sincerity. Even though I do tend to avoid phone calls in specific situations, I disagree with the generalization that all individuals have become accustomed to texting. I know several people who still prefer phone calls, even for small short conversations. I also disagree with the fact the author stated about phones disrupting conversations. “We let phones disrupt the conversations of friendship in several ways: By having our phones out, we keep conversations light and we are less connected to each other in the conversations we do have.” When my friends and I go out to eat, we all put our phones in the middle of the table and whoever is the first to touch their phone has to pay for everyone. We all enjoy each others company very much and do not let electronics get in the way of the time we spend together, especially now since we all attend different universities. There were aspects of this chapter that I agreed with and disagreed with, but I believe the majority of it holds a large amount of truth regarding friendships and how they are maintained in our society.

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