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.”
WHAT IS DIGITAL FRIENDSHIP?
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.
“HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY?”
FRIENDSHIP AT FIRST CLICK?
MEETING NEW PEOPLE SAFELY
Find out more on the next page!
FALSE DIGITAL FRIENDS
In the video on the next page, people affected by cyberstalking tell their story.
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.
IMPACTS ON OUR RELATIONSHIPS
But how do digital tools and friendships impact our analog relationships? And which impact do digital friendships have on the feeling of loneliness some people are experiencing?
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?
Case 2: READING EMOTIONS DIGITALLY
With apps like these, autistic people can participate more in social life.
I AM NOT LONELY!
You can find a summary of this module in the download section.