What is friendship? There are many answers to this question, to be found in literature, history, academic research – primarily, though, in our own experiences of life.
People’s need for close friendship is near-universal, since in relationships with others we find validation and support – and occasionally help in times of crisis. Friends help us to develop our own individual personalities. They share our problems and joys as we experience life’s ups and downs together. Digitalization has greatly simplified, accelerated, and intensified our communications, including those with our friends. This is all well and good, but it can be exhausting too. People often have hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media – but do they still know who their actual friends are in real life?