I was driving in my car listening to the radio when the radio personalities started talking about how there was a study done recently about friendships. The study found that no one feels it’s as important anymore to hang out with their friends because they have social media. Social media interactions have become the new way of hanging out instead of meeting up for activities like drinking coffee, enjoying lunch, movies etc etc.
The study showed that people just don’t feel it’s as important since they can get on social sites and check in with their friends.
I wasn’t surprised.
I started thinking about friendships pre-social media. How no one knew what was going on in your day to day life and in a lot of cases they didn’t always know what was happening in your 5-7 yrs of life.
We had address books and when traveling it was always fun to add new friends to the book depending on where their last name fell in the alphabet.
In those cases we were so far away in distance, but yet so connected through letters and phone calls.
Instead of Facebook birthdays, we received cards and calls from friends and the fact that they’d remember was a joy in itself.
Meeting up was special because it always took hours to catch up and hear about all of the wonderful things happening in each other’s lives.
If you saw someone at the grocery store who knew someone you knew that you either hadn’t seen in awhile or didn’t have any contact with , you’d be like “Oh tell them I say hi!” and in some cases you’d actually get their phone number and give them a ring.
All of those traits listed above are just a few of the authentic ways that I have personally interacted with friends.
As I move forward with this blog, please know that I’m not being critical or negative. I’m just pointing out the ways that I have seen ‘people to people‘ interactions evolve. They aren’t all authentic to me. So if you disagree with this move on.
Nowadays, we are so connected, but yet so disconnected.
We connect all day long through calls, texts, emails, social media etc, but the study mentioned, shows that we don’t need to hang out.
Has the disconnection become so big that we create a National Friendship day instead of celebrating it on a daily basis.
I hope that the definition of friend hasn’t changed from what I was taught.
A friend is someone who is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection or understanding.
Nowadays it feels different to the point where it’s not as authentic.
When a friend recently told me that a Facebook contact says “HI” it had me thinking.
It’s happened before, so in this situation, I put it into perspective.
Even though I know people have all good intentions, it just felt sorta superficial.
How about instead of telling so and so that so and so says hi, message the person to say hi. Especially if you are saying it and you never interact with that person online. It’s not like it’s hard. Even interacting on social media is a form of friendliness. If you are seeing that persons constant updates and following them then saying hi shouldn’t be hard. It seems like a longer process in a technological advanced world to tell so and so that so and so said hi.
Here is where the word friendship seems to have taken on a lazy definition.
It’s even a definition now.
Look up the word friend and the 3rd definition is add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.
Ok sure we add friends on social sites.
Are they reallly a friend? Because again, look up the definition and the first thing that pops up is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection (and understanding).
I was out and about recently and I recognized a ‘Facebook contact.’ That is what I call someone who I’m not “friends” with nor ever met.
Somehow I have a lot of those contacts. And please don’t get me wrong I have met some amazing people through social media. Some I ended up meeting (and adoring) others I look forward to meeting and others I look forward to seeing again.
So when I saw this Facebook contact out and about, I recognized their face from pictures and said “Hello.”
Well they didn’t seem to know me or even care.
So they just passed by.
I was left there in that moment like ‘ok social media is weird. What is this all about? Why are we connecting online but not in real person?’
I’m thankful for social media for so many different reasons. It’s brought me a lot of business, opportunities etc.
But then there’s a shady side to it.
And then there’s the diluted version of friendship and how the study mentioned showed that no one wants to hang out because they can connect on social media.
I’ll leave with this….
•Call or write a friend. Drop them a genuine ‘Hi How are you?’
•Go hang out with a friend and leave your phone in the car.
•Remember, community and real life interactions are the biggest key factors in living a long, optimal life.
And lastly, Celebrate Friendship Everyday..