Good day friends. What is a friend? In today’s convoluted society that term is virtually meaningless. In the time before social media, a friend was someone who in times of trouble or meaningful events in your life you reached out to (usually via phone) and shared those events and feelings. Don’t get me wrong there were still varying degrees of friends. Your best friend obviously. Your going out friend. Your really bad advice friend. And so on and so forth. It used to be a small circle of people who, right or wrong, had your back.
When you experienced a romantic breakup, they (the true friend) let you vent or cry or whatever you needed to do to cleanse your soul. When you achieved some meaningful goal, they were there first in line to go out and celebrate, smile and laugh with you. Those real friends have seen you at your best and conversely seen you at your lowest but still claim you as friend and diligently pick you up when you need it.
In today’s society, friends are viewed as more of a portfolio. I am so-and-so’s friend. I have so many friends – just look at my profile. Let’s be clear, you may have a lot of acquaintances but they are not real friends. Think I’m wrong? Start talking about your religious views or politics or make fun of their car or their pet or ask to borrow money and see if they are still talking to you tomorrow. Many of these relationships are tissue-paper in a thunderstorm weak and if tested will fail to hold up. Seriously if you don’t believe me – do a little field testing. I think a lot of people would be shocked back to reality and perhaps a little more cautious with what they ‘share’ once they discover the truth for themselves.
Real friends run deep. Real friends know your secrets and you know theirs. Real friends don’t care about your social media posts or if you don’t like the local sports team. Real friends see through your defenses and can tell when you are hurting or holding something back. Real friends can pick up after not talking for a week or more and it just feels natural. There’s an easy flow there that cannot be replicated by “I just met them once and we talked about why Buffalo Wild Wings is over-rated for like twenty minutes”.
This being said I have met and interact with many people mostly through my softball activities. I wouldn’t go as far as to call them friends but I have a ton of friendly acquaintance with potential to perhaps become friends.
But in my world, I call a very small, select few true friends. Nothing against the vast masses on social media whom I chat to, Post for and respond to – most of them are very nice people. But let’s be serious, if your car broke down at 2 am are you calling me for assistance? If you needed a place to stay on a moment’s notice, who would you reach out to? If someone you cared about deeply was suddenly ripped from your life, who would you turn to? These scenarios should probably reveal who in your heart is your rock or pseudo-family outside of real family.
I tend to look at things macro and micro quite a bit. I guess it comes from being forced to entertain myself a lot as a child and deductively trying to work things out. Hopefully, this post didn’t offend anyone lest I lose followers or virtual friends. This is not to say I don’t enjoy meeting new people and learning about them. In my opinion, a vital part of my creative process is constantly being introduced to new people and ideas. This is not to say a casual friendship cannot be developed. But everyone today throws around the term friend far too loosely. If you cannot spell the person’s first name correctly…you are probably not their true friend – just saying. If you have never physically been in the same place together or verbally spoken to them – you might not be real friends (feels like a Jeff Foxworthy moment here). I could be wrong, there are exceptions of course but I think these are the rules more than the exceptions.
To my dear friends and my mom, who is one of my best friends – I thank you; for living this life would not be possible without the light you pour in to offset my self-generating darkness.
For those of you that thought this was going down the Ross, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel path – I sincerely apologize. That would have been a 10-year blog post of funny and endless quotes. But alas not this time.
Careful out there my friends, the world is full of people aimlessly running with scissors and practicing their selfie faces.
Peace and post.