Here in Israel we have an old question that’s dated in the 1950’s concerning the law of return, which means that every jew, from wherever, can come to Israel, become a citizen immediatly, and live the rest of his life here. The question that rised than is known as the “Who Is a Jew” question.
Yesterday at the TIIC – IsraelNetSphere # 5 event i spoke with Omer Perchik and Aviv Revach about the questionof Who is a friend. Omer and I have known each other since this year’s Blogference held last July, and Aviv I know from the Geek Dinner we had with Stowe Boyd a few weeks ago. I asked Omer if I am his friend just because he knows me from these event, or are we friends because we’re on the same lists on Facebook. The conversation than came to what happened to the “old” definitions of being a friend- someone you call to, someone you meet regularly, someone you know a bit better (or more) from other people you just know by face, name and some background data.
Omer told me I’m his friend, but i started struggling with the question, or with the new definition of friendship in the new era of social media groups, where a friend is as easy as a request for friendship.
So who is a friend, who’s an acquaintance of yours and who are you just familiar with? (can you describe the difference when the definitions collapse to the same point?)
Omer said that if he was with me in a bar fight he would definately come to my help. I said the same thing even though i’m not sure my recently dislocated shoulder would aprove. It than raised another question in my head: To some of my Facebook friends i already feel some closeness emotions even though I dont know them deeply and although we are meeting only on the comment pages of blogs and on event lists. I asked myself what does it mean.
By default, the questions i ask here are for sociologists. But because I am holding a sociology degree i have to say an internet sociologist would really come in handy right now. But seriously, if any one of you social thinkers has thoughts on this subject please feel free to share because those are questions that by default are considered WIKI questions and are opened to negotiation.