Adolescence was a long time ago. Grad school taught me to relate to others more as colleagues than friends. If I need reassurance of my students’ esteem, I need look no further than my course evaluations (Ha!). So my sparse friend count doesn’t normally bother me.
But when I first opened my account, it read “You have no friends” at my institution. Such a bold declarative statement has the power of persuasion. —John Lemuel —Why I Registered on Facebook (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
The primary audience for this publication is college administrators and professors, so most readers would understand the “I” in the title as referring to “a professor”.
So far, I’ve spent much more time and effort researching the internet at large, though I’m following eagerly the work published by grad students and younger professors who are more closely associated with the internet’s social aspects as defined and experienced by people of college age and younger. (Even my earliest forays onto the internet were for academic or professional reasons, though of course I enjoyed the virtual company of others who were similarly excited by the possibilities.)
Once when I told a class of students that I don’t have any friends to exchange IMs with, I got a sympthetic “Awww!!” What I meant, of course, was that I keep in touch with friends through other media.