Keep scrolling to learn more about digital friendship and digital loneliness on your own. You can find instructions here.
Do you plan a workshop? Here you can find ideas for a 25-minute, 45-minute and 90-minute workshop.
WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP?
"To me, true friends are the people I like to spend my time with and who I meet regularly."
"I think, true friends are the people that stand by you, even when nobody else does."
"If I count Facebook and Instagram friends, I have more than 900 friends. Most of them are not true friends, though. A true friend is there for you anywhere, anytime. You could ring their doorbell even in the dead of night and they would embrace you with open arms."
WHEN IS A FRIEND A FRIEND?
Some researchers see friendship “as a voluntary and personal relationship based not only on support and trust, but also on sympathy.”
ANALOG AND DIGITAL FRIENDSHIPS
WHAT IS DIGITAL FRIENDSHIP?
DIGITAL FRIENDS = TRUE FRIENDS?
“At the beginning, we were skeptical: a smartphone friendship? This cannot go well”, remembers Marie. “But we proved all of our critics wrong.”, laughs Lisa. “For six years now, we've been supporting each other in all kinds of situations. It feels so good to get a like for new recipes or ideas. Now we tell each other everything. Marie has really become a great friend.” says Lisa.
FRIENDS ON THE INTERNET
CAN YOU DOWNLOAD FRIENDS?
In this chapter, you will learn how to make digital friends. The possibilities are vast and range from digital “fake friends” to real contacts. Digital fake friends are friends who are not human and yet seem to be.
A LOVE SUBSCRIPTION?
Examples for such digital fake friends are apps such as the “Invisible Girlfriend” and “Invisible Boyfriend”. The user gets to select a name, age, appearance and personality for their fake partner.
Depending on the subscription, users receive SMS, voicemails, greeting cards, flowers or even small gifts from their virtual partner. Even if they do not really exist, the digital fake friends look deceptively real to the outside world.
REPLIKA – MY FRIEND FROM THE APP STORE
“HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY?”
“SHARE YOUR WORRIES!”
FRIENDSHIP AT FIRST CLICK?
MEETING NEW PEOPLE SAFELY
Find out more on the next page!
REFUGEES, SMARTPHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
There are many reasons for using smartphones: refugees use the GPS function on their smartphones to orient themselves in foreign countries and regions and to find one another. They inform themselves in Facebook groups about dangers along the way and stay in contact with the family members they left behind. Smartphones are also used by refugees to learn languages. In addition, they often use their phones to visit the "Handbook Germany" information platform, which is supported by the Deutsche Telekom AG.
FALSE DIGITAL FRIENDS
In the video on the next page, people affected by cyberstalking tell their story.
CYBER STALKING – WHO CAN HELP?
WHAT IS LONELINESS?
Today, people often use their smartphones to escape the feeling of loneliness. Therefore, a distinction has to be made between analog and digital loneliness. You can find out more about the difference on the next page.
ANALOG AND DIGITAL LONELINESS
Digital loneliness or digitally connected? Read the case studies on the following pages.
Case 1: WHATSAPP AND RELATIONSHIPS
What do you think about leaving groups? What can Jonas do to improve the situation? And how can he leave the groups without hurting his friends’ feelings?
LEAVING GROUP CHATS
If you want to leave a group chat, you can do this in WhatsApp via the function “Leave group”. The problem: the remaining group members will be informed that you have left. This is often perceived as rude. It may signal disinterest to the remaining chat participants.
Announce that you are leaving beforehand and explain your reasons. Say goodbye to your digital friends politely. Keep in mind that leaving group chats can still have a negative impact on your relationships.
Case 2: READING EMOTIONS DIGITALLY
With apps like these, autistic people can participate more in social life.
Tom’s girlfriend often tells him: “Put down your smartphone so you have more time for your offline friendships again.” She specifically suggests a “digital diet” (“digital detox”).
What do you think about her suggestion? What can Tom do to improve the situation?
ALONE OR TOGETHER?
I AM NOT LONELY!
You can find a summary of this module in the download section.