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#10To Use or Not to Use Social Media for Our Friends?

Facebook set itself as the default medium for our social relationships, but we may not need it.

Facebook claims that its platform allows us to keep in touch with our friends—but in what way, exactly? In the long run, relationships between individuals are often reduced to a superficial form of contact, like seeing public photos or statuses appear in a non-personal way, lacking the intimacy of authentic connections.

These ghostlike relationships could be described as “extimate friendships” (by contrast to “intimate”). Are they really worth it?

With friends and close ones, it is instead by initiating truly personal contacts that we can manage to keep these valuable relationships. Social media such as Facebook allow us to do so, but they are definitely not the only way.

Some suggest trying lost art of giving a phone call (see What replaces Facebook? in Salim Virani’s Get your loved ones off Facebook) or exchanging (paper, electronic) mail to catch up on each other.

In the end, what matters most is that we take care of our relationships ourselves in order to keep them—something no social media will replace on its own.