Just before Thanksgiving, I posed a question to my Twitter followers: "Has social networking made 'friendship' the highest form of interpersonal relationship? Or has it all but stripped the term of its meaning?"
I suppose this was a moment of idle thought as much as it was a moment of deep thought. OK - mostly idle thought... But when people started responding with a mix of snark and serious consideration I figured maybe I was touching upon a significant issue associated with being a human in the age of social media. Think about it...
Are your Facebook friends or the people you follow on Twitter really your close friends?
On the flipside, what about the people you made your MySpace Top Eight (you do remember MySpace, don't you)?
Do you think of your real friends differently if they aren't connected with you on social sites?
Have you forged close relationships with unlikely others you might never have met if it weren't for the fact that you both lurked around on the same social networks?
If you're a marketer, does it mean more to you if someone is a friend, fan or follower of your brand than it does if they're just a plain ol' customer?
I think you get my drift. As for those sometimes snarky, sometimes serious responses from my Twitter friends, check 'em out.
So the Twitterati have had their say, but right now I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
Chime in and let me know -- has social networking changed the way you think about friendship? Has it given new weight to what 'friendship' means for your company, brand or product? Or has the word friend been thrown around so much that you're not even sure what it means anymore?