On Aristotle's Friendship and Social Network

Topics: Social network service, Facebook, MySpace Pages: 36 (10543 words) Published: September 4, 2013

Technology is changing the world in a fast pace. This is evident most especially in social networks. Due to the widespread and growing use of these new social media, especially social networking sites such as Facebook, researchers began to study its ethical implications.

Social networking services or social networking sites are widespread in all parts of the world. It serves as means of communication and is considered as the most convenient and easiest way of communication. It is convenient in a way that it is better than other means of communication such as telephone. In social networking sites, there is a video call and the one being called and the one calling can see each other. It is easy by the fact that it takes only one click on the mouse button to operate it. It is indeed a wonderful technological offshoot.

Social networks such as Facebook offer online friendship. Establishing friendship at the social networks is very easy. Just by one click on the mouse button that takes a split second, a person and another person becomes friend with each other. That is how easy friendship can be established through the use of social network. However, there are questions whether the friendship in social network can be as strong as the friendship of those people who ventured in the traditional way of making friends.

In the traditional way of developing or establishing friendship, it takes several years before a person can call someone as a friend. It is evident during the ancient times and an early year before the internet was invented. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila affirmed this by giving his personal insight regarding the said issue. In the following lines, he narrates his experience in making friends and compares it to this present time through the use of social networks. He says: Sa mundong kinalakihan ko gagapang ka para maging friend. Hindi pwede na in one click, friend kana. Nagsisimula ka sa getting to know you.

That is the traditional way of establishing or developing friendship. It is not a matter of one click that you can call someone as a friend. It is a long process and even entails a painstaking task. This is what social networking services particularly Facebook is trying to introduce - that friendship can be achieved easily without undergoing a painstaking task. Perhaps, social networking services can be considered as a product of the “new age”.

Social network perhaps is not made in order to change the traditional way of establishing friendship. It is made to strengthen it. Come to think of this scenario: you have a friend way back in elementary and you never meet for the past ten years. Both of you happen to have an account in a social network and through this you are able to communicate to each other. Through communication you are able again to strengthen your friendship. However, if social network will not be used properly then instead of strengthening, it can probably ruin friendship.

Social network must be used properly. The role of ethics regarding this new technology is to give enlightenment to the people through the use of ethical principles regarding the proper use of this new technology.

In the researcher’s point-of-view, the end of social networking service particularly Facebook is developing and strengthening friendship. However, the researcher admits that Facebook has bad effect such as ruining friendship. At this point, the researcher inquires the question whether Facebook can help in developing, sustaining, and strengthening friendship or not.

As part of the study, the researcher will point out how Aristotelian concepts of friendship with the aid of virtue and other ethical principles governing friendship may affect Facebook through the aid of the following questions: 1. What is Aristotle’s concept of friendship?

2. How do virtue and other ethical principles affect friendship? 3. How can...

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