Does keeping a network of friends in a similar job description as yours impact one's profession? Does it help someone to grow professionally?
If you have a computer, who needs friends? Well I need friends! I need friends in my profession who I call to ask for advice and also to complain about the petty day to day frustrations that come with my job. IT friends are a treasure and you should go out of your way to keep them. Not just because they understand the jargon ("Stop talking in numbers and letters!" my spouse says) but also because they understand the unique demands that you will encounter. This support network helps keep you sane in your everyday work. It's also helpful to have another professional to informally bounce ideas off of get suggestions from.
The best IT professionals I know are always sharing the things that are working well in their organization. This is an unofficial way of evaluating software. You know someone has used it and they like it so you give it a try. Technology isn't good for anyone if you don't share it with others. Why not build on other people's success?
Hope this answers your question.