Your Internet Friends Are Real: A Defense of Online Intimacy, by Kyle Chayka for TNR:
The perception that online relationships are somehow less real than their physical counterparts exemplifies what Nathan Jurgenson, a New York-based sociologist and researcher for the messaging platform Snapchat, calls "digital dualism." Contemporary identities and relationships are no more or less authentic in either space. "We're coming to terms with there being just one reality and digital is part of it, not any less real or true," Jurgenson said. "What you do online and what you do face-to-face are completely interwoven."(Keep an eye out for a brief in-article cameo from our once and always fearless leader!) [more inside]
Stephen Wolfram used the data provided by Facebook users to do some demographic analysis.
The entertaining youtube channel Vsauce takes an interesting look at The Science of the Friend Zone. [via]
I Want To Talk About Politics On Facebook vs. Get Out Of My Facebook, Politics: two arguments for and against using social media to share political opinions (presented on Thought Catalog) [more inside]
What you don't know about your friends: The problem, [Francis Flynn, a psychology professor at Stanford] says, is that interacting with people and sharing experiences with them doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing lots of things about them. The main hurdle is the way we talk to those we’re close to: our conversations are usually meant not so much to gather information as to establish rapport and to bond - in short, to make friends.
The Boston Marriage. An article in Ms. Magazine describes the author's choice to live with a beloved friend rather than a sexual partner. The arrangement differs from a typical roommate situation in that the two people involved take care of each other and socialize together like a couple traditionally would, and are even considering raising a child together - yet they are heterosexual and have lovers that don't interfere with their partnership. For straight people that don't want to live alone forever but are disillusioned with marriage... could this be the social institution of the future?