How Friendships Can Be Maintained Through Mediation Between Friends

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Friendships can be maintained through mediation between friends who are temporarily separated. However, it is established that, according to Cocking and Matthews (2000), purely mediated close friendships are impossible. The internet presents structural impediments to the formation of exclusively online close friendships as they inhibit an essential feature of close friendship, this being relational identity. The internet allows an individual to choose their identity rather than being forced into non-voluntary self-disclosure. Individuals are capable of distorting filters onto themselves that are normally revealed to friends in an offline encounter and when the relationship is online, the crucial mutual interpretation and shaping of the others identity is lacking. With this being said, Cocking and Matthews (p 224) states that within a purely online context, the establishment of a close friendship is psychologically impossible. The general definition of friendship and its features which are accepted across the world involves that which is characterized by mutual affection, a desire to engage with another in shared activities, and a complexion to assist in the welfare and wellbeing of the other (Cocking and Matthews, p 224). In an attempt to recognize a friendship, interpretations of the friend’s character and how they act indicate whether that friend shares a mutual interpretation of the others character and holds a common placement in a close friendship. Cocking and Matthews (p 224), indicate that these interpretations are the dynamic materials that both ordinary and significant expressions of friendships are made of, and in a virtual world, these signals are unable to be processed, making this form of friendship imp... ... middle of paper ... ...what lies below the surface of the individual and their daily lives. Briggle concludes that if the internet is used meticulously as a workshop for sincere self-exploration and honest mutual exchange, there is no reason that the internet cannot support wholly mediated close friendships. I believe that Briggle is right in his arguments because today social media and the internet are used for high-speed connections, hyperlinks, bullying, and attempting to modify how young men and women feel about their bodies and personalities. If it is used consciously, people may develop a sense of self that is capable of being honest and true. Although I also agree with Cocking and Matthews in that interpretations of the individual are crucial to the realization of a close friendship, I think that that can be accomplished through other measures besides a face-to-face encounter.

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