To friend or not to friend

pexels-photo-697243.jpeg

Is it just me or has friendships become so much more meaningless lately? It seems that we have a lot more friends but the feeling and meaning behind it is gone. I personally feel that this has a lot to do with social media. It used to be that people had their one friend or group of friends that you either called on the phone to talk ( remember those days?) or sometimes visited in each others homes and occasionally go out to dinner or movies or whatever. These were “your people”. They knew everything about you.  They knew where you grew up,  which siblings you get along with and which you were currently not talking to. They knew the names and birthdates of your children. They would spend time in your home and you in theirs and sometimes you would even vacation together.

Today our friends are facebook or instagram friends. These are the people I consider superficial friends. They may be people you went to high school with back in the day. Or that cousin that lives in Alaska that you have not seen since you were both toddlers. Or a co worker from your last job. Or parents from your kids schools. They really know nothing about you other than what you want them to know which is basically what you post on social media. They wish you happy birthday and congratulate your achievements only because facebook prompts them to do so. They are voyeurs looking into our lives from the outside. Let’s face it, no one posts the negatives so we are driven to onstantly want to one up or show off to our friends how perfect out lifes are.

This current state of frendships in the world has made me overall very guarded and cautious.   I am by nature a very friendly and social person. Therefore, I have many “friends’. I put friends in quotations because I have a very different definition and approach to friendship than many people do. On the whole, I have several groupings of friends. I have the friends that are ‘my people or my real friends’. Then I have my intermediate friends and finally my superficial friends.

My real friends or those people that I call “my people are those close knit group of people that know me best. They don’t only know me but they know my family which includes my parents, siblings, spouse, children. They have been to my home and I to theirs. I can talk to them abut anything. They know things about me that I trust they will carry on to their graves and vice versa. These are people that I trust implicitly which is a key part of friendsip.  To me friendships should be EASY. If it becomes work or difficult and full of drama then it is definitely not worth it. These close friends are people that I don’t necessarily see everyday or speak to often or even live close to. But once we get together everything falls into place.

My superficial friends are my social media friends. They know what I want them to know, but they will not have the security codes to my home. The intermediate frients are in between and can basically go back and forth. So is it possible for an intermediate friend to overtime become one of your people? For someone with trust issue, like me that takes a lot of time. Ande yes it is possible for an intermediate friend to become a superficial friend. If so, can a real friend become an intermediate or superficial friend? Well the incidence of this happening is very rare as my real friends have been thouroughly vetted, smetimes over years.

So really, having 1000 friends on facebook or many likes on facebook and instagram posts, does not translate to real life friends. Pay attention and foster friendships with the living, breathing people in your life. Don’t put so much effort into gathering superficial friends that are there for your successes and equally there to see you fail.

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic

J

 

 

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “To friend or not to friend

  1. Very well stated and so true. Yes their are social friends that you can add and subtract as you walk the path of life. I feel you know who your true friends are from day one. You do not have to be with them all the time but they exist. Life cycles change , friends change but their is always the core!
    Xo

      1. That’s great.. Looking forward to it! 🙂
        Oh yeah, lately my comments on your blog have been flowing into the spam box!

    1. Well thank you! This looks fun. Can’t wait to read your answers and come up with some of my own.

  2. Friendship is something that is built over time. Clicking a button is far less effort than real friendship requires. A friend helps you move. A friend listens when you are telling them your problems… problems that haven’t changed appreciably in fifteen years. A friend shows up early when you throw a dinner party, just in case you need extra hands to set up…

    You can’t do those things over the internet…

  3. Great post. I totally agree with you.
    We seem to have so many friends today, that not everyone cares to put in the work for a real friendship. Liking a photo or a Facebook status is not enough to foster a close relationship.I’d rather have a handful of people I can trust than thousands of “friends”, who will probably not make a difference in my life.

  4. Oh this one resonates with me. I can count my dearest friends on a few fingers. I literally agonize over each ‘friend’ request on Facebook because to me, it is a big deal. I do not see the point of accepting a friend request from an acquaintance and a request from someone I haven’t heard from in years has me re-evaluating whether we are even meant to reconnect. I do see many benefits from technology but there is nothing like knowing someone well enough that seconds after picking up the phone (my best friend lives far away) her first words are ‘what’s wrong?’. Such a thoughtful, perceptive post. Thank you…🙏

  5. Great post. I’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of friend. I’d rather stay home with a good book than spend time with superficial friends. I have my core group and it’s all I need. 🙂

  6. So True Jovita, I feel like I’m losing a childhood friend that I tagged my best friend. Truth is, I’ve come to realize that actually, I’m my own best friend.

  7. I believe that some close friends become superficial acquaintances when maturity exposes the pretence you once thought was friendship.

  8. What a great post. I love this, last year I lost a few friends and that hurt me deeply , I’d be lying if I said it still doesn’t hurt. You see, I barely fall out with anyone. It wasn’t really a fall out, more a realisation that most of the communication was coming from my end and when I stopped – it wasn’t reciprocated. It took 10 years. Everytime I did get closer to my so called ‘best friend’ was when she wanted to share her amazing news with me or devastating break ups. I didn’t ever share what was going on with me. It was then I realised something had to change. I fought for our friendship, I really did, but time has a way of showing you things.

    Brilliant post. Now, I put myself first, someone should and I do . I have no time for ‘fake friends’ or pretentious talk, or being friends for the sake of it.

    Loved this post, it was like therapy for me .

    Kay x

    1. Wow Kay so glad you found this helpful. The older I get, the more strict my friend criteria become. It is important to put yourself first and also important to re evaluate your friends from time to time. Real friends value your relationship and care about you. Fake friends only care about themselves and what you can do for them.

  9. As a human being, we need emotional support, virtual friendship is superficial,so go out and communicate to people in person. It makes a difference.

    1. Yes it makes a huge difference! I’m concerned some people may have forgotten how to communicate in person.

  10. Completely agree. I think we have always had “categories” of friends (I know I have), but it was never really an issue until the social media explosion. (You may be young enough to have always lived with computers and some form of virtual outreach and see it as more “creep” than “explosion.”) I think part of the problem is semantics. When are virtual choices are only to friend or unfriend, follow or unfollow, it’s too easy to be sucked into thinking those are the *only* choices. In real life, most “friends” are the ones you would call superficial & I would call acquaintances. I wonder how different life in the virtual world would be if social media had (and always had) an “acquaintance” choice.
    You’ve written a very insightful, cautionary, essay that you’ve summed up perfectly in the last paragraph.

    1. Well thank you so much for your commentary. I am old enough to remember a time without computers. Although I enjoy the machine and all its conveniences, it is somehow dehumanizing us!

  11. Yes I also think the same. People love to be surrounded by individuals virtually and thus the true meaning of friendship is fading away.

Hi, I would love to hear from you!