10 Ways to Make a “Friend”

Google defines a “friend” as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. This is someone who you have a solid connection with that usually Unknownconsists of multiple things in common. You typically enjoy each other’s presence and support each other’s beliefs, values, and desires. Friendships can range in intimacy, in
which you can have a lot of everyday friends, and maybe a few best friends. But no matter what, the typical friendship usually has common attributes amongst all.

When most people read the above paragraph, they would agree that the description highlighted would most definitely describe what a friend is. But with the rise of social media, the meaning of “friend” has changed. In regards to Facebook, one might say they have 645 friends. Some people will admit to not actually being friends with all the people they connect with on Facebook, but most genuinely believe they are “friends” with those 645 people. The same goes for Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. A lot of people think that the number of people who follow them or add them on Snapchat are their good friends.

Does anyone else see a problem with this????

Of course many of those followers are your real and true friends, but I think it is crazy to consider all of them “friends.” I am definitely guilty of this back in high school when I first got Facebook. I added a bunch of people in my grade thinking that the more “friends” I had, the better I was viewed. My dad questioned me once I got up to a few hundred friends on Facebook, asking me if it was necessary to share pictures from my vacation with all of these people. Everyone was constantly uploading tons of pictures of themselves for everyone to see, and I honestly did not see a problem with it. But my dad made a good point: realistically, I would not go up to all of these people or start conversations to show them all my photo albums. I would only do this to my select group of friends who I talk to on a day to day basis.Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.14.53 PM

People might narrow the concept of a friend down even further to those who “like” their posts and pictures. So maybe not all 600 people are your friends: you can finally admit that half of them are your acquaintances. But all those 300 people who “like” your Instagram picture…yup those are your real friends. They support you and throw you that like to make you feel good about yourself on social media. Here it is again though: that is as far as that “friendship” goes. Almost all of the many people who like your content on social media addfriendplatforms do not know many important details about your life, nor would you ever tell them. Yet, many people will claim that they’re such great friends with all these people.
I’ve heard many individuals discuss how close they are with certain people who comment on their pictures, but in reality it is just a reciprocation from previous comments that they themselves commented on others (crazy how things work on social media, right?).

Social media has fabricated what people think true friendships are, changing the way people communicate as apparent friends. Comments, likes, and follows should not dictate real friendships. Meaningful, in-person conversations, strong bonds, and real mutual affection between two people should represent what a true friendship is. But, according to the norms of social media, you can become “friends” with people if you do a couple of simple tasks:

  1. Friend them on Facebook
    • Be sure to make your friendship public for everyone to know
  2. Like their statuses on Facebook
    • Give them the support they deserve
  3. Follow them on Instagram
    • Can’t miss anything important that goes on in their lives
  4. Like every single one of their photos on Insta
    • Again, showing that support
  5. Be sure to comment how great they look in those pictures
    • Whether they look good or not, you have to show you’re a real one
  6. Follow all of their friends on every social media account
    • Their friends are your friends, right?
  7. Retweet every single one of their tweets
    • More support!
  8. Add them on Snapchat and watch every Snap-story
    • These are very important moments in their lives; don’t miss them
  9. Post a Snapchat selfie with them
    • Pics or it didn’t happen
  10. Comment how much you love them on every social media platform
    • You guys are bffs!!!

It’s sad that people truly think that this is real and wouldn’t see the sarcasm behind these “rules.” Social media has brainwashed the people of today’s society, manipulating the concept of friendship. However, there are so many great perks that come along with using social media, being able to share components of our lives with the people we care about. But a line needs to be drawn to how much we actually share with these people we consider “friends,” when in reality they are nothing more than strangers.

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9 comments

  1. Good post! I think using social media to keep in contact with “friends” is an interesting concept. I do see your points, and I certainly don’t assume that everyone who likes my posts is one of my good friends. This comes back to the point we’ve discussed about the harms of social media only highlighting the best and most positive aspects of our lives – so those “friends” don’t really get to see the real life of the person behind the posts. On the other hand, my best friend from home has lived out in LA for the last four years, so sometimes social media is my only way to connect with her. When we’re both busy and not in contact, I may just simply like her posts or comment to keep up to date, before actually catching up when we both have the time.

  2. Great post! I find myself on both sides of this situation. Sometimes I look online and am just bombarded with information about people I don’t really care about. But other times, I find that Facebook and other social media helps me to stay in touch with people I really care about and otherwise would have lost track of. In the long run, I think people will come to appreciate which of their online friends are their real friends. As social media becomes more popular and widespread, I think the added benefit from each friend diminishes to the point where people will start to care only about the people they actually talk to in person.

  3. This is an awesome post! The idea of friends and the way we interact with them has certainly changed over time. How sincere or valuable these friendships are definitely come into question, but simultaneously these platforms allow one to keep in closer contact than prior forms of communication did with friends who are far away. Watching their “day-to-day” somewhat helps keep the bonds close because they are encouraged to comment on funny things or cool things they see you doing or commenting on. It depends how you look at it, but I think the initial relationship one has with the other person determines how they act with one another socially.

  4. This is a thought-provoking post. Often times on social media platforms you feel that “likes” from your closest friends don’t actually count because they are obligated to like the content you post. It’s more exciting to get a “like” from someone who doesn’t know you very well – it is probably more likely that they actually legitimately like the photograph you posted of some scenery or are impressed by an accomplishment like getting accepted to school. I wonder if Facebook will one day differentiate levels of “friends” so that you can filter people more easily who you talk to the most without Facebook doing it for you. Interesting topic!

  5. I definitely agree with everything you say here. I have so many facebook friends that I haven’t spoken to since high school, or even barely knew back then. Whenever I try to go through and unfriend them, the process turns out to be too long and grueling so I stop. I think at BC with the “BC lookaway” I have definitely had people who comment on my Instagrams or friend me on Facebook but won’t say hi on campus, which is a complete flip on what a “friend” is by the definition you provided. It’s kind of sad but at the same time also highlights the people you really truly know to be real friends. Maybe there is a positive in this.

  6. This is an interesting portrayal of how we view friends in the day and age of social media. It is true the the number of friends we have online never really represents the amount of people we could count on in a more serious scenario. I liked your dad’s point about how there are much fewer Facebook friends that you would walk up to and show vacation photos from a physical photo album than the number of people you post to when you upload pictures on Facebook. It’s interesting that we need to feel validated, via like or comment, from people that in really life we would not have a conversation with about the picture itself. Similar to what you have mentioned, I also think social media can lure us into a false sense of friendship. We can stay up to date with friends from years ago, comment or like their posts and pictures, and then feel satisfied that we have done our “friendship duty”. We convince ourselves that we still stay in touch when in reality we do not know what is really going on in that person’s life. Your blog really shed light on this problem that we should actively try to correct!

  7. Nice post. The difference between online and offline relationships is that offline relationships are “analog” in that we can have a variety of different range of friendship – from casual acquaintance to BFFs. Online relationships are typically “binary” – someone is either a friend or not. Of course, platforms like FB offer lots of benefits to these binary relationships that are hard to replicate in the analog world.

  8. Interesting post! I actually recently went through and unfriended a lot of the people I was friends with on facebook just because I felt exactly the same way that you do in the sense that I would see what was going on in people’s lives that I’m not even friends with at all. From now on I’m just going to add and accept people that I actually consider my friends and who I care to see what’s happening in their lives.

  9. Very interesting post. I havent gone through my social media friends and unfriended anyone because as others have said it took too long, but I definitely agree that that network of people who I share and am being shared with has grown too large. I think that as social media matures and we mature more with it the constant friending will slow and our networks will change to be more realistic of our offline lives.

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