Lately the sociologists and psychologists have been weighing in. Their collective opinion seems to be: All these ‘friends’ and ‘likes’ are a fraud! a waste of your time! more than that, the research says they leave us feeling more rather than less alienated and unhappy.
The record shows the great thinkers have held friendship up to a much higher standard. Aristotle insisted “a friend is another self” and Oscar Wilde said “a friend is someone who will stab you in the front.” Facebook, on the other hand, is often dismissed as fickle friendships.
When you’re in the mood to explore your feelings about a God or your fears about gun controls, it’s not likely you’ll get many actual friends to join in at the next golf game or cocktail party. Those social events are usually meant to “keep it light.” On the other hand, there are any number of Chat Rooms on Facebook where you can pick up a dozen articulate opinionators of all ages, scholarship and persuasion who can’t wait to lock horns in friendly [sometimes, not so friendly] dialog. I find that a handy workout for both my positions and my passions. All in the convenience of a gun-free, drug-free, drink-free environment which I can enter and leave [in my bathrobe!] at my choosing.
In a world of so few personal choices, that can be an environment even Aristotle and Wilde might have approved.
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