Welcome to the second BlogFlash event! The first (#BlogFlash2012) was so well received that we decided to run it twice yearly. It’s a great opportunity to get creative, meet other bloggers and get a new audience. Whether you join us for the full month or just a few days, the main aim is to have fun and be inspired. Anything else is a bonus. Worried about word count? Don’t be! It’s a guideline so the month doesn’t feel overwhelming but if you feel inspired to write more, feel free. Good luck!

#BlogFlash2013: Day Fifteen – Friendship

#BlogFlash2013 (March): Day 15 - FriendshipAccording to Aristotle, there are three types of friendship: those of pleasure, utility, and good.  Friends of pleasure and utility are exactly as their names suggest: in friendships of pleasure, the relationship is based on mutual enjoyment; friendships of utility exist because they are useful (friends we carpool with but don’t otherwise see, for instance). Friendships of the good, Aristotle’s highest form of friendship, are loving and selfless, with both friends striving to serve the good and bring out the best in one another.

This semester, my Boston College class focuses on friendship in the digital age. My students and I talk at length about the effects of technology on our lives and the changing nature and experience of friendship in an age when it’s not only common but sometimes essential to communicate via an online platform.

Digital world

The digital world and international friendships

When I first taught this class four years ago, the differences between ‘real life’ and online friendships struck me as stark, with digital friendships as transient and flat as the Facebook or Twitter pages that counted them. Since then, I’ve come to see the friendships we make, nurture, and sustain online as honest and true, with Aristotle’s classical distinctions equally applicable in the real and virtual worlds.

While there are downsides to online relationships-some people misrepresent themselves, for example (as Manti Teo can attest)-Internet friendships can enhance our lives. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful writers, readers and bloggers whose paths I might never have crossed in everyday life. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet and work with Donna Brown, my beautiful and amazing assistant, who lives with her lovely husband, Dave, in northern England. I’ve also had the chance to meet, communicate and connect with all of you, reading this post right now.

We experience friendship differently today, no doubt about it. And how brilliant it is that we do!

Next prompt: Community (22nd March)

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