Tal, I didn’t remove myself from Facebook… I only deactivated my Facebook Profile. I still maintain a presence there through my Facebook Page. There are many people who choose to connect with me through Facebook and all of those connections are still alive.

Like you, I also see everyone as a friend, but as I mentioned in my reply to Caroline, the point of this essay isn’t about the semantics of the words (friend, acquaintance, contact, etc.); it’s about how we interact with people. I value my connections through the comments on this site higher than I value comments through Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Likewise, I value face-to-face communication higher than digital connections on my mobile, which is why when I’m having a face-to-face conversation I’m not being distracted by my phone. (I believe we spoke and agreed on this point as well.)

When someone I’ve never met before connects with me, whether in person or through a comment or somewhere online, I speak and communicate with them as another human being. I feel no distinction between “virtual friends” and “in-person friends” because I feel a universal connection between all living beings and I aim to relate on that level. But social networks do not encourage such connections. They encourage unconscious connecting, and unconscious connecting degrades the not only the quality of all our relationships, but also the quality of our life.