When it comes to the people one has on their friends list, there can be the people they know and there can also be the people they don’t know. As a result of this, just because someone is classed as a friend it doesn’t mean that this is actually the case.
The Same School
For example, one can have people on their friends list that they went to school with, and while this means they may have spoken to them a short while ago; it could mean that they haven’t spoken to them in years. If this is the case, it could mean that they no longer know much about them.
Thus, if they were to see them in real life, they might not even talk to them. On one hand, this could be because they don’t feel the need to talk to them, and on the other hand, it could also be because they don’t recognise them.
Along with this, they can also have people on their friends list who they have only met once or on a number of occasions. Therefore, while there is always the chance they will see them again, there is also the chance they won’t.
When they think of someone like this, they might know very little about them, and they might not have a connection with them either. Based on this, it could be said that they are nothing more than a number.
There is also that chance that one has people on their friends list who they have never even met. For instance, if a number of their friends know the same person, that person can be seen as someone they may also know.
One can then end up adding them and it then won’t matter that they haven’t actually met them in person. When one wants to accumulate more ‘friends’, this might not even bother them.
Another reason why one can add someone they don’t know is because they like their appearance. They can believe that adding them will allow them to get closer to the other person, but even if this doesn’t happen, they can still look through their pictures, for instance.
It might be hard for someone to understand they would accept their friend request if they don’t even know them; however, there are at least two reasons why they would do this. On one hand, it will allow them to have more ‘friends’, and on the other hand, they can give them validation.
This shows that someone can use social media to change how they feel, and this can mean that it will be important for them to have a lot of’ ‘friends’. The more ‘friends’ they have, the easier it will be for them to receive positive feedback from others.
If they are unable to feel good about themselves without using social media, it can be normal for them to be dependent on it. It will then be seen as another way for them to receive approval from others and connecting to others could be the last thing to their mind.
Yet while one can have people on their friends list who they don’t really know, they can also have people on there who they do know. These can be people they class as their close friends and they can also be people who they are not as close to.
Nevertheless, they are likely to be people they see in the real world, and how often they see them can all depend on how close they are. But if they don’t see them very often, it could be because they don’t live very close to each other.
When it relates to their close friends, it could be people who they share their whole life with. Therefore, not only will they talk about what they have been doing, they will also talk about how they feel.
Their need to be seen and heard is then taking place, and this going to have a positive effect on their well-being. If this is a relationship that is based on give and take, one will also respond to the other person in the same way.
This kind of friendship will be life-affirming, and like most things in life, it will only exist for as long as one puts in the effort. If one was to longer listen to the other person or if they were to no longer spend time with them, for instance, it would soon have a negative effect on their relationship.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that a friendship is either growing or dying. For example, if one was in a romantic relationship with someone and they only saw them twice a year; they are unlikely to have much of a relationship.
A Different Approach
But while friendships take effort, social media can cause one to believe that they no longer need to put in as much effort. Instead of meeting someone in person or even talking to them on the phone, they could just send them a message or ‘like’ something they have shared.
They could believe that this is enough and that they no longer need to do as much as they did before. They can come to the conclusion that they know what is taking place in someone else’s life because of what they share, and as a result of this, they no longer need to find out for themselves.
Along with this, the kind of things that one shares can also have a negative effect on their friendships. This is partly because one can talk about things that they wouldn’t usually talk about.
But if they were to say the same thing in person, it would give them the chance to explain themselves better. But when something is shared online, it can be taken out of context, and it can then be normal for their friends to see them differently.
This shows that one can erode a friendship without even realising they are doing it, and if they think they can maintain a friendship through liking someone’s status, for instance, they could be in for a surprise. While there is a lot that one can do through using social media, there is also a lot they can’t do.
Face-to-face interaction is a vital part of any relationship, and if one can meet a friend in person, it will be important for them to make the effort. Yet if they don’t value someone’s friendship, they won’t need to make the effort.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.