Friendship is regarded as crucial to living a good life. But how does friendship make our lives better? Do all friendships make our lives better? What sorts of interactions are necessary for maintaining valuable friendships?
This book answers these questions via a philosophical exploration of friendship and the ways that it contributes value to our lives. Diane Jeske uses this philosophical analysis to assess the impact of our ever-growing use of social media: Do interactions via social media interfere with our ability to maintain genuine friendships? Do such interactions undermine the contribution of friendship to the value of our lives?
In addressing these topics, Jeske examines the contemporary notion of a ‘frenemy,’ the ways in which we deliberately craft our social media personas, the role of the physical body in friendship, and the ways in which social media’s exacerbation of our fear of being left out and of comparison-based envy can impact our relationships.
Written in a clear and engaging style, Friendship and Social Media brings philosophical rigor and clarity to the task of determining how we can responsibly use social media in our own lives. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the ethics of interpersonal relationships and the social impact of technology.
Table of Contents
Preface: Friendship, Philosophy, and Facebook
1. Friendship and the Good Life
2. The Nature of Friendship
3. Friendship Online
4. What Good Are Friends?
5. Social Media and the Value of Friendship.
Diane Jeske is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, USA. She is the author of Rationality and Moral Theory: How Intimacy Generates Reasons (Routledge, 2008) and The Evil Within: Why We Need Moral Philosophy (2018). With Richard Fumerton she is editor of Introducing Philosophy Through Film (2010) and Readings in Political Philosophy: Theory and Applications (2012).
"Nearly all of us have friends, want to have friends, and think that friendship is extremely important to the quality of our lives. Rather than simply taking these beliefs and desires for granted, Diane Jeske’s interesting, articulate, and accessible book invites us to think seriously about friendship’s nature, its value, and what it means to us - and to ask, too, how these values and meanings might be affected by our use of social media. I enjoyed this book, and I will be recommending it to my friends (and maybe even to my Facebook friends)." - Troy Jollimore, California State University, Chico, USA