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The fundamental problem with online conversations is their inherent one-way, transactional nature. They're not so much "time-displaced" conversations, as question and answer sessions, where one party or the other gets to pick and choose what they respond to or not.

Ari raises an important point: and it's one that is ignored by way too many, but is highlighted by Mr Leis: the people [we] "befriend" (apologies for the differentiation) are entertainment; they are not "friends" per se. A true friend is there when they are needed; online friends simply skip to the next topic or inane status report. (I've seen true online friendship only once, recently, when someone's husband died, and her online friends got together to collect some money toward his funeral.)

Mr Leis, you fail to answer the fundamental question you raise: What is friendship, when it's so disposable? (Not to mention, you requested I justify a prior post, and then failed to acknowledge the effort, or the points I made. Am I mere entertainment? If so, who is not?)

Carolyn Ann

I like hearing that, Michael, and I presume you will agree with me that if you are friends with people you don't know, respect, or trust, you might as well separate yourself from that friendship.

That's how it works in typical friendship circles, where terms like reciprocity come into play. But online, when people can befriend hundreds or thousands of people on a single social network, what does that say about the social fabric?


Who doesn't love college? I'm really lucky that the concepts we talked about there I can bring to the table here. If you read my blog, you'll see that I think there's a lot of TV and Film concepts that are valuable in creating meaningful interactive experiences. But I know that one man's La Jetee is another man's Terminator.


Absolutely not! I love seeing the pictures of people and their kids, their status updates, and thinking back on the time we spent together. I'm not suggesting anyone do any unfriending, just to step back and look at who these friends are and what they represent through the lens of the social media interface.

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