There's already been a court ruling noting that being a Facebook friend is not like being a "real" friend, but the vast "cheapening" of the concept of friendship is ticking some people off. In noting how the various social networks keep encouraging you to add more friends (even if they're not real friends), it raises questions about whether or not these social networks are hurting their own reason for being. As businesses, they have every reason to encourage you to keep adding friends. However, if you so cheapen your relationships by adding anyone and everyone as a friend, doesn't it make the services a lot less useful for really keeping up with your friends? Perhaps social networks that are really about managing your relationship with real friends would be better off focusing on the quality of communication between friends, rather than the quantity of friends you have.
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