I agree (with the latter sentiment). But what much of these discussions overlook is the fundamental shift that social networks and online communities bring to our concepts of friendship and the way we build relationships with other people. I think they allow us to do much more than has been possible in the past. Social networks allow us to maintain links with people where they would previously have been lost, and online communities allow us to form relationships with people around shared ideas, goals or interests (from a common medical condition, to a shared love of knitting). These tools extend our relationships rather than replace our offline connections.
It turns out, research backs this up. For example, a 2009 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that those who expressed gratitude more often slept better and longer than those who didn’t. Another study published in 2011 in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being , showed that writing in a gratitude journal significantly improves sleep quality. This study showed that just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed can allow you to sleep better and longer. This 2015 study from researchers in London and published in the Journal of Health Psychology also demonstrated that gratitude helps improve quality of sleep and lowers blood pressure.