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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Do you really know your friends? How social networking affects our definition of friendship

    Do you know who you’re friends with? The answer may seem rhetorical, but not in today’s “social-network” age when people refer to hundreds of thousands of people their friends.

    Some people are just interested in racking up numbers and don’t care what you had for breakfast or how often your project partner doesn’t return your emails.

    A lot of businesses also friend request people on Facebook, using a “personal profile” whether it’s the local boutique or Wolfie.

    They use it to advertise their products or events. But that’s not what I’m talking about because it’s easy to see the intentions of a buisness, I’m  talking about actual people- do you know who they are or what they really want?

    We all know how easy “friending”, the most popular new verb, is on Facebook. All you need to do is click one button.

    Sometimes it can even be by accident, especially if they’re on the “people you may know” page.

    Do you “add” people to your friend list because you are friends,  acquaintances, members of the same organization,   trying to network? Or do you add them because they added you?

    How many people that you actually know are your “friends” on Facebook. Many people our generation and younger will have friends lists into the hundreds and even thousands.

    There is no possible way you can honestly be friends with a thousand people.

    But maybe you add them because of networking. They might work where you’re interning, are in the same major, class or club/organization, or maybe you just think they’re attractive and while you might not “know”  them you rationalize that the good possibilities out weigh the bad.

    There are hundreds of reasons why someone might add you,  and whether or not they know you doesnt seem to matter anymore.

    How many of you honestly add someone or accept someone  you don’t know just because you can?

    Many celebrities, or wanna-be’s, from actors to athletes will add/ accept all the friend requests they can get to increase their exposure and show potential directors/scouts/agents how popular they are. But most of us aren’t famous and we don’t need that type of exposure. When someone adds you that you don’t recognize immediately, do you look up who they are?

    I don’t  necessarily mean googling their name, but checking their profile to see if you actually  know them? It’s not as stalker-ish as it sounds and is probably a good idea. You should know who your friends are.

    When it comes to  social networking there’s a fine line between sharing your life with good people and over sharing with potentially harmful people.

    After all, unless you’re being set-up with say Mark Sanchez or Mila Kunis, you probably dont want to continously add strangers. There is a reason people don’t usually like blind-dates,

    Sometimes seeing the same people around  a lot is just a coincidence, especially if you have the same major or interest. But sometimes it’s not.

    The truth is not everyone on your friends list may just be interested in being facebook friends for the standard reasons. I constantly hear stories about fake profiles someone made to check-up on their ex’s,  and believe it or not many websites such as Foursquare, Facebook or Twitter have options in them  that can make your real physical location become public information.

    If you and your roommate check into Applebee’s someone could know that you aren’t home and it makes it that much easier to rob you. If you really wanted to let certain people know where you are-,you could just tell them. You never really know why you’re friended but you should know who you’re friends with.

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