Pardon the wrist slitting subtle reference.
“Friendship divides our sorrows and multiplies our joys”
This statement claims that just by getting friends, your life will get miraculously better, because the more friends you have, the more joyful you will be. I really think this is under explained at best, lies at worst. Tom from Myspace is the first evidence of this. Have you ever seen him smile, truly smile? The image of him in front of the chalkboard doesn’t count.
Friendship is more of a hive mind situation. When I say hive mind, I do not mean the single consciousness most of us imagine. It is not a clean, humanoid, sane, mind. It doesn’t have thoughts, per se. Rather, it is the result of many interactions between sometimes expendable individuals. Society is other people. When someone say “they” or “someone”, “they” are you. And your sister in Indiana. Anyone within the sphere of influence of that particular group is also part of it.
Therefore, yes, friendship divides your sorrows. But it hands it to everyone else you talk to, with a little (vague scatological expletive) on the side for good measure. And by reciprocation, most other people’s joy is also part yours. The overall effect has HUGE potential to drown us in stimulae. No man is an island, said John Donne. But we are. For to be totally immersed would result in having what little individuality consumerism allows for to assimilate into the unit.