Technology provides us with the illusion of companionship without the demands of real friendship

Maintain Friendships Offline is a poster series reinforcing the importance of maintaining friendships in the physical word as well as the virtual. During this era of instant communication and global connection people are reporting to feel ever more isolated and alone – as cashiers become robots who obsess over the unexpected items in bagging area, and people find comfort in texting rather than face up to a vocal conversation.

Maintaining strong friendships and positive relationships in the physical world is a real-world firewall to the feeling of loneliness that affects so many. The indispensable support networks that are a product of strong positive friendships are integral to innate human – pack animal –  feelings of security and happiness. The momentary gratification from an Instagram like does not fill this void. A virtual pack of thousands of supporting followers doesn’t equate to a someone you can rely on to come over and make you laugh when you feel blue.  

It feels important to remind children and adults alike what friendship means in its raw physical presence as well as through a screen. The content for these posters was formed in workshop with 10 – 11 yr olds, see ‘A Friendly Study’ project page, which discussed the value of friendship through discussion and drawing. They aim to reinforce the importance of friendships to adults by taking a nostalgic look back to the unadulterated joy of early childhood friendships.