When I saw an MSN article headed Facebook friendships ‘not real’, I was expecting something about lack of validation of Facebookers’ identities. Which is indeed an issue, though not a new one. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Or, indeed, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
But no… All this time we’ve been making a fuss about the lack of security and privacy on social network sites, it seems that we’ve been getting it wrong. The problem isn’t security at all.
According to a recent survey, most of us see our friends much more on Facebook than we do in person. Apparently, this becomes truer as you move up the age range. Well, I guess you have to meet your friends in order to get smashed with them.
Anna Richardson, described by MSN as a “Channel 4 presenter and relationship expert” apparently commented:
A Facebook friendship is a poor substitute for actually meeting up with a friend as you miss out on the personal engagement and real connection that you need to build a strong friendship.
It is difficult to make time for friends when juggling busy lives, but without making the effort, there’s a danger that precious friendships are becoming lost in the digital era.
Her advice is to log onto http://www.railcards.co.uk/, buy a railcard and… oh, wait a minute. You can apparently get taxis, finance, holidays, accommodation, broadband, car insurance and many other things at railcards.co.uk, but not railcards. I guess she (or more probably MSN – nice proofing, guys…) meant http://www.railcard.co.uk/, which offers a range of discounted passes for rail travel in the UK. OK, so I should login and buy a railcard (yes, Ken, I am eligible for a Senior Railcard: don’t rub it in…) at www.railcard.co.uk… oh, wait another minute. Isn’t that who commissioned the survey? Well there’s a coincidence….
So I get my railcard and wander down to the station, and get on a train at a reduced rate, and go and see my Facebook friends.
“I’d like a ticket please, to Western Australia, Pennsylvania, Bratislava, Florida, San Diego, the Philippines, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Chennai…”
David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Security Author/Consultant at Small Blue-Green World
Chief Operations Officer, AVIEN
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence
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