Are you really my friend? If we met online, and maintained a relationship there, is our friendship as real as the ones we form in the physical world? In New Republic, Kyle Chayka says yes: “The time has come to obliterate the false distinctions between digital ties and the ones that bind us in the physical world.” For what it’s worth, the NextDraft design and engineering duties have been performed by several of my friends, none of whom I’ve met in real life. (I have a feeling if they met me in person — and found out that I wasn’t really a single, attractive, NBA cheerleader looking for casual but intimate encounters — they might end up charging me at their full rate.)

+ NYT Room for Debate: Real relationships in a digital world?

+ The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova on the power of touch: “The more we learn about touch, the more we realize just how central it is in all aspects of our lives — cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioral — from womb into old age.”