Online lives may delete offline friendships

With the rise of social networking
sites, such as Myspace and Facebook,
there is no doubt that our generation’s
interpersonal social skills are being
“I think that social networking
sites are both a blessing and a curse
in terms of communication,” UAA
Professor of Communication Shawnalee
Whitney said. “They, along with other
electronic forms of communication,
allow us more and more opportunities
for communication, but they also seem
to keep communication at more of a
“surface” level, making it seem like you
really know more about a “friend” than
you truly do.”
Our personalities have now become
profiles, and communication has morphed
into virtual messages and comments.
Relationship statuses, event invitations
and photo sharing have all become a part
of online networking and our daily lives,
exposing limitless information for our
“friends” to view with just the click of a
While these websites offer a vast
range of social selection and limitless
forms of communication, they also aid
in eliminating our offline social skills.
Conversations are transformed into
instant messages, making communication
less formal and easier, which has become
our generation’s means of advancing.
Online “friends” are not necessarily
people we would consider friends offline.
They may be simple acquaintances, high
school classmates we haven’t spoken to
in years or even people we don’t know.
By adding our online “friends” to the
never-ending list, we are allowing them
to view our profiles and every bit of
personal information we display on our
As relationship statuses change and
new friends are added, those already
befriended by us online are immediately
included in every update, change and
notifi cation. Personal space is eliminated
and we are instantly exposed to the World
Wide Web. All it takes to invite someone
into your online life is to click “accept”
on their friend request and instantly the
door to our personal lives is opened.
In our technologically advanced