According to Bauman’s Liquid Love (2003 ), the advance in virtual proximity makes human connections frequent and shallower and simultaneously intense and shorter. It makes us wonder if “friendships” on social networks are for “the
good, the pleasant or useful” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII ).
The aim of this study is to investigate three different types of relationships between young Internet users; exclusive Facebook friend, recently added
Facebook friend and exclusive face-to-face friend with regard to social attraction, self-disclosure, predictability, trust, gender, length of relationship, self-esteem and sociability.
A questionnaire was distributed in a private school of Athens to 158 students
with active accounts on Facebook (case study ). The findings show that students
with the largest number of friends in real life, also have a larger number of
friends on Facebook. There is moderate negative correlation between self-esteem
and hours spent on Facebook and moderate positive correlation between
sociality and the number of friends on Facebook. The values of friendship
(social attraction, self-disclosure, predictability, and trust ) within the Facebook
“environment” are always more intense than in that outside Facebook. It was
also found that boys have higher levels of self-esteem and sociability, but the
differences are more pronounced in the former than in the latter.
Teenagers use technology, specifically social networks, to meet their needs.
This use must be understood and analyzed according to their circumstance and
not according to the expectations of adults. Technology is fully integrated into
the their daily routines (Livingstone, 2008: 395 ), thereby reshaping the
environment in which they live, by negotiating their identities and interacting
mostly with peers they know (boyd, 2014: 9-10 ). The search for self and identity
is associated within the context of sociability and friendship. A social network
like Facebook is the frame of reference.
“O my friends, there is no friend ”
J. Derrida, The Politics of Friendship
The above quotation, attributed to Aristotle by Derrida1, and the ensuing
debate on friendship (Foucault2, Agamben3 ) are quite indicative of the
ways in which the notion of friendship bisects the social, psychological and