I had several ideas for what I might want to blog about today. I'm afraid I won't be able to be articulate about any of them at the moment, but that's a risk I'll have to take.
I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately, particularly in the context of all the social networking applications available on the Internet. People on sites like Shelfari and Facebook "request friendship" with each other, allegedly based on common interests and a desire to communicate with each other. While the interest is sometimes apparent & leads to a great new relationship, sometimes it's merely a popularity contest. People end up with hundreds of "friends," people who share little in the way of common interests, and even less interest in each other.
My biggest problem with the whole phenomenon is the use of the word "friendship." I mean, I understand the point of networking, but let's not call it something it isn't. Webster says a friend is "one attached to another by affection or esteem." I guess resorting to the suggested synonym, "acquaintance," just doesn't have the same ring to it. Still, if I'm going to claim someone is a friend, I feel like I ought to be able to pick them out of a crowd of 647 other people. And if I add someone to my blog list, I'm indicating some degree of commitment to reading their blog on a regular basis. Which probably explains why my list of blog links is so short.