How Facebook Is Making Friending Obsolete

Friending wasn’t used as a verb until about five years ago, when social networks such as Friendster, MySpace and Facebook burst onto the scene.

Suddenly, our friends were something even better – an audience. If blogging felt like shouting into the void, posting updates on a social network felt more like an intimate conversation among friends at a pub.

Inevitably, as our list of friends grew to encompass acquaintances, friends of friends and the girl who sat behind us in seventh-grade homeroom, online friendships became devalued.

Suddenly, we knew as much about the lives of our distant acquaintances as we did about the lives of our intimates – what they’d had for dinner, how they felt about Tiger Woods and so on.

Enter Twitter with a solution: no friends, just followers.

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