Do you consider friends a “necessary evil” or something to cherish?
Do you make friends easily or does it take lots of energy?
Do your friends make you feel better or do they suck the life out of you?
Recently, someone “unfriended” me on Facebook and that caused me to think very seriously about the true meaning of friends. I came to realize that social media reduced the concept of friend to a mere “click” of the finger. We may be raising a whole generation who considers making friends to be nothing more than clicking (or unclicking) on someone’s name. And that thought makes me sad.
The dictionary defines friend as someone with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. It’s been said that a friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
Ironically, Facebook was created “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” yet it’s reduced making friends to a “click and count” activity.
Personally, I much prefer the dictionary’s meaning of friend over social media’s “click and count” approach.
Why? Because as humans, we need connectivity. We need meaningful relationships. We need to care about others and know that others care about us.
Healthy friendships create a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.
Healthy friendships can reduce our stress levels, increase our mental acuity, expand our mindset and magnify our world view.
So, what’s the solution?
We can start by thinking more deeply about the meaning of friends.
We can reject the social media approach that considers friends to be something you add or eliminate with a click.
We can reconnect with old friends and commit to building bonds of mutual affection with new friends.
We can recognize the importance of friends to our overall social, emotional and physical health and well-being.
By celebrating and honoring our friendships, we can show the world the true meaning of friends.
So, who needs friends?