I consider myself lucky to have true, real friends. I trust and appreciate them and value their opinions and suggestions. With age has come the wisdom to choose my friends more carefully but surprisingly to be much more open to developing new friendships anywhere and across platforms. Although I have worked with my Canadian publisher in creating and licensing my painting images since 2004, we have never met in person.

As I learn more about social media, I have to wonder if all of this sharing among “friends” is just diluting true friendship. A recent study shows that we trust our friends and peers as a source of information less than we did two years ago. Only 25% of respondents view friends and peers as very credible; a decline of 20 percentage points from 2008.

As social media evolves there will need to be clearer definitions of the terms “friends” and “peers.”  The bigger our networks get, the less trust we will have in the people within them. Filtering and organizing our connections will become more and more important.