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