Friendship and Facebook

I’ve read a bit about the philosophy of friendship over the years, but none of it is much use when encountering Facebook for the first time. Thinking myself too middle-aged for what I thought to be a youth site I hadn’t even looked at it until last week, when Jacques Chester asked me to link to a Liberty and Society group and I decided (in my middle-aged caution) to check before I linked. But I had to join first, and every day since I have received emails from Facebook telling me that person X, Y or Z has added me as a ‘friend’ and wanting to confirm that we are in fact ‘friends’.

In most cases, it’s been pretty easy to ‘confirm’ these people as friends. But can I be a ‘friend’ of someone whose name and face I don’t recognise? (from the friends we have in common I presume we must have met, but I don’t remember it). Or someone whose name and face I do recognise but I haven’t seen them, been in touch with them, or even thought of them for years? On the other hand, not confirming someone as a ‘friend’ could be seen as rude. Just because I am not a friend doesn’t mean I want to make an enemy.
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