“Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
This observation was made around 5 A.D. by the Roman philosopher Seneca about human relations and how do they get affected by the distances between the human beings. He said “people who separated physically would often separate socially and emotionally as well.”
I find this a suitable critique in the present context of social networks. Each and every online site – whether it be MySpace, Orkut, FaceBook or ibibo – or an ad of a touch screen mobile phone where a cricketer endorses its use by saying that it facilitates people to stay in touch – looks like an empty cloud. We do have parallel and efficient modes of communication but at the same time- it has resulted in a casual outlook towards human relationships… the vary difference between acquaintances and friendships is so visible. With ever growing list of “friends” in one’s “social” network and with each of us confirming “multiple friends request” every day; the idea of having a relationship has become shallow. I am sure its a challenge for language too, to define these newer forms of relationships – which obviously can’t actually be friendships but are said as one in absence of a proper word.