This column first appeared in The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers on November 1, 2020:
We’re good at celebrating friendships on social media.
Although the act of friending might seem little more than adding someone to a list of contacts, we cultivate friendships on social media with likes and shares, images and tags, greetings and comments of love and support.
Calling someone a “friend” elicits feelings of connection, even if you might never actually meet an online friend face-to-face.
In rare cases, the friend isn’t even a real person. I’m not really Facebook friends with our local Dairy Queen. Yet my belly and wallet would suggest we have a deep, personal connection.
Facebook quantifies our friendships through the pictures we post that represent our connections as well as old posts we’ve shared about one another...
Read the rest of this column at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/11/cultivating-friendships-through-social-media/ (may encounter paywall).
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Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is special assistant to the provost and professor of communication in the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes on a variety of topics including communication technologies, relationships, and sports (with an emphasis on fandom). His work has appeared in Mahoning Matters as well as The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers.