Friendship linked our dinner with Irakli and Anna, our drive to the Caucasus Mountains, and our final discussions in Tbilisi on conflict resolution. Friends inspire us to escape the monasticism of our thinking by asking us to embrace people who live outside our home.
Hurrah for friendship. This was one of the messages behind the heart-stopping price of close to 19 billion dollars Facebook offered for WhatsApp, the new instant messaging service.
What can we learn from eighteen eighteen-year-olds about friendship? Here are some ethnographic notes I made from a freshman seminar I taught this past fall.
Two American classics, two notorious scenes, two different ends. So what happened to American masculinity in the decades between Moby Dick and “Friends?”
Why are we more excited by Facebook than by Google? I thought about this question a couple of weeks ago when the media ran stories about the rivalry between these two corporations.
Question: Where does friendship turn into a thing? Answer: On Facebook.
I don’t mean that new digital technologies convert friends into objects. This would be a simplistic reading of social media. I argue, rather, that they transform our human desire for connections into a commercial activity.
The glaze in their eyes gives it away, the slight tightening of their lips, and the nervous breath. When colleagues learn about my new project, they begin to feel sorry for me. “Why friendship of all subjects?” It’s seems quaint to them or just light; in any case, not a legitimate object of inquiry.