An article in the Huffington Post about anomie and its new internet age definition gave an interesting insight to how things have started to drastically change in a heavily social media world. Back in the 1970s and earlier before there was any Facebook or Twitter, it was considered that a good friend was someone that you could trust with your very own secrets. Now a good friend could be anyone that starts to follow you on twitter and comments on your Tweets or a stranger half way across the globe who likes your status updates when you feel alone or like no one is out there listening.
Can you truly define these people as being friends? I think that is up to the person them self. But how does this relate to anomie? Anomie was a term used to feel disconnected and especially used in anomie suicides when people would feel so disconnected from society that they had no point or use in the world that they would just end it all. Before things were much clearly seen when some was being left out in society because they could show physical characteristics that someone could pick up on and then address. Now with the internet and digital age it is getting much harder to determine that. Anomie could result in the feeling of being disconnected from the digital world as a whole. If you are not up to date on your posts or on Twitter you could start to experience anomie because of not keeping consistent updates or checking on the newsfeed. There could also be an anomie of the definition of what it means to be a “friend.” When it used to be that people would have one or two really good friends and the rest were acquaintances, now it seems that it is very rare for someone to have only a few people that they would call a friend, but many more.
Some people will see people that they friend on Facebook or follow on Twitter their friend, but they lose sight of what it means to be a true friend to someone and share the same experiences and ideas. Thus they are starting to pull farther away from true friendship and start to get lost in a big pool of friends that may not really know that much about you.
Anomie is something that will have to be addressed and kept an eye on because I feel that with the way that the social media sites are going, it can get worse. Anomie will have to be re-defined in a way to explain that it may not only be disconnection from just a physical person but also from a society or culture all its own, even if its digital and online.