One thing I never really thought about a great deal before was the term ‘on-line’ friends and what it might or might not mean. I mean what does that really mean? Are they just actual friends or just “on-line” friends?

As it turns out some will be real friends whereas other will only be in scope of whatever social or online network that they are a part of. That is to say your Twitter friends will be scoped to Twitter and your Facebook friends ones to Facebook. Obviously the meshing of more than one social network will reinforce the network, as will other reinforcements like actual physical presence. Sometimes if a network ever ceases then the friendship ties can also be quickly weakened and even severed completely.

Maintaining friends can require considerable effort on the participants, it reminds me of simulator games style like the sims where you have to constantly manage contact with friends.

A lot of computer games now also require on-line friends too, where being part of a clan or party makes the games easier or more enjoyable. Now here I show my age! I remember when playing games involved taking your new game cartridge along to a friends house and actually playing together in physical reality!

So my definition of real fiends are those that transcend the scope of network, and ‘on-line’ friends as those that are truncated by network scope.

I think I may have been reading a little too much Philip K. Dick lately!

Until next time!


Essential listening: