the illusion of intimacy

A really good article in the Sunday Times this week about friendship and facebook. I often joke that facebook redefines the meaning of the word friend but it seems that I might actually be backed up by some evidence.

On a regular basis the number 150 turns up as the genuine number of people one person can maintain meaningful contact with. I have heard this before from church growth people and in other contexts.

The best bit of the article is where it suggests that even then we are fooling ourselves. Real freindships take time and effort. The picture is of a range of ever decreasing circles where the people who you know and really know you is probably no bigger than 5

One of the challenges of communicating to a generation  of digital natives maybe that their search for intimacy on the internet leaves them with numerous superficial relationships, which take time to cultivate, but few, if any relatioships of real depth and meaning. Maybe what we need to be sure we are encouraging is depth.


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