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How Real Are Online Friendships

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/how-real-are-facebook-friendships/384780/

With the social medias available today, making a connection between people has become seemingly effortless. Yet, how real are these “friendships” we form on social medias? While social medias like Facebook place every type of social connection into a single “friend” group, these connections can have many different meanings for us, ranging from one-night stands to friends you grow up with. Fascinated by the idea of how real Facebook friendship can be, photographer Tanja Hollander spent the past few years traveling around the country and the world to track down and photograph every one of her Facebook friendships.

While many Hollander’s Facebook “friends” had never met or talked before her visit, she was in fact welcomed into their homes and took portraits for 95% of her “friends”. Moreover, 74% of them offered her a meal or a place to stay for the night. To her surprise, by relying on certain friends as bridges, she was able to form good connections with those that were once considered strangers.¬†She credits this to the weak ties she maintained over the years as they act as crucial bridges between groups. Overall, this article is an interesting read that explores strong & weak ties, making connections, and the power of weak ties.

PS: Her project is titled “Are You Really My Friend” and is scheduled to open at the Massachusetts Mesuem of Contemporary Art in March 2017.

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