In 2009 the New Oxford American Dictionary anointed ‘unfriend’ its word of the year. This term encapsulates the contradictory connotations ‘friendship’ has taken on in the SNS era. One would think ‘friendships’ involves a degree of commitment. Hence, the notion that a person can be quickly and easily ‘unfriended’ seems paradoxical. Drawing on her ethnography of Friendster, danah boyd (2006) argues that ‘friend’ connotes different things when reffering to ‘actual’ friendships or to SNS connections in general. Flash also explores this distinction:
I mean, the term ‘friend’ is a loaded one, I’m not really sure it’s a very appropriate one, but — because it presumes a kind of
that isn’t often there. You know, my mate in year seven who I haven’t seen for — how many years would it have been now? — seventeen years, you know, isn’t technically my friend any more. We don’t know each other on a day-to-day basis.