Would you call your Facebook friends your true friends?

One of the advantages or disadvantages to having time on your hands is that you evaluate your life. I have had a lot of time on my hands. I have been recovering from ankle surgery and have very limited mobility. So I have been spending way too much time stuck on a couch with nothing but an iPad and daytime TV to entertain me. Trust me, daytime TV is so bad and there are only so many games of Scrabble I can play on the iPad.

But I digress. I started to think about my life and the 40 years I have had on this lovely planet. One of the biggest issues is my circle is friends or lack thereof. Now I know this is going to really piss some people off, but hear me out. What makes a friend? With today’s technology, people are able to have lots of “friends” with all the social networking sites. I have 258 “friends” on Facebook but, are they really my friends?
I define a friend as someone you call up to shoot the shit, talk about your day, family and life but also a person that you want to call when something good or bad happens in your life. You know that your friend will be there for you. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. I have been able to reconnect with people from my old neighborhood and high school and see what they are up to. I am also able to stay connected with former co-workers and their lives. But I am not sure I would call my “Facebook Friends” as friends but more acquaintances. I am not calling them up to chit chat or emailing them and I can’t remember the last time I went to lunch with one of them. It’s not like any of them are doing the same.

When it comes to friends, I am just very unlucky in that department. I have had friends over the years but due to circumstances that either I caused or they caused, we are no longer friends. You know the women who are attracted to men who are just not right for them, well, that is me when it comes to friends, especially women friends. I know that I can place some of the blame on myself. I am not the easiest person in the world to get along with (just ask my husband.) I am opinionated to a fault; I can be loud and sometimes lazy. Not traits that someone would not write down when they say what they are looking for in a friend. I have also made poor choices in where I lay my loyalty when it comes to friends. Over the years, I have lost childhood friends due to not being “cool” enough to be in there click. In high school, I had some really good friends but as the years went by, we just grew apart and out of touch. In college, I had some great friends but again, we grew apart. Now keep in mind you younger ones, email and the internet were not around at the time so staying in touch meant talking on the phone and write letters you actually had to mail.

After college, I drifted from groups of people but never really feeling like I was part of the group. I did eventually find one so called friend. She was older than me but we really seemed to get along. Looking back on it now, I realized how toxic the relationship was. She kept me around to do her dirty work and treat like crap. But I was so desperate for a friend that I looked past all of it. It wasn’t till another person emailed me a chatroom conversation that I realized how toxic it was. This so called friend was in a chatroom bashing me to anyone who would listen and telling them how stupid I was that I had no idea that she hated me so much. Wow! That really hurt. Sometimes women can be so mean.

Since then I have maybe had one other friend but that too ended. Not sure exactly why, she just stopped calling and emailing me and I would only hear from her when she needed something. I took this one especially hard. My poor husband had to listen to me cry and cry over it. I couldn’t understand why this person just dropped out of my life. I think losing a friend is almost as bad as a romantic relationship ending. It leaves you empty and very bitter. Since then I really can’t say I have any friends. I have a great family who I can call at any time and they will be there but can’t say the same for anyone outside the family.

Now I know my 258 “Facebook Friends” are going to take issue with this. I am not saying this to bash them. I am trying to evaluate if “friends” on Facebook really constitute being a true friend. It’s fun to see pictures of their kids and read their opinions on things. I enjoy finding out about their lives but when is the last time you really spent some quality time with your “Facebook friends?” I know I haven’t. Social media might be changing the definition of “friend.” I might just need to catch up with the times.

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Comments

  • Mindy  On July 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Sabrina! I agree with you 100%!!! I have 900+ friends (who are all real people– I’ve downsized and gotten rid of the “fake people.”

    But honestly maybe 4-5 of them are true friends who I see /hang out with! And of those, probably 3 of them are really my husband’s friends!
    Since I’ve left KNTV and moved to the city, I don’t see my friends much, if at all, because they either live in the South Bay and work odd hours/days.. or have moved away.

    I am on this site WAAAY too much, I know, but it is interesting to see and hear the latest goings on.

    True friends? Nah.. but they are entertaining me at least!

    xoxo

  • Kathy  On July 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I often think this also. Especialy as I have children I am tring to help navigate social media. Ed seems to use it as a network but with Monica it’s hard having to explain that just meeting a friend of a friend makes them a friend.

    But I would add one other definition to a true friend. Someone that would be there for you if you asked. We may have moved away but John and I know you would do this for us and we would do it for you if needed.

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