Sometime between New Year’s Eve 2010 and New Year’s Day 2011, Tanja found herself wondering about the concept of friendship.

The night before, she’d been quietly multitasking — handwriting a letter to a friend deployed in Afghanistan while instant-messaging with another in Indonesia.

Waking up the next day, she was consumed with questions about technology and friendship. She started thinking about whether her online relationships were as real as the ones she’d formed in person. She looked at her list of Facebook friends, hundreds of names long, and wondered: “Am I really friends with all these people?”

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