Who are your friends, really?


That’s the number of friends I currently have according to Facebook. 179 – really? I’m saying this not to bemoan the fact most people have easily twice or three times [or even more] as many friends but to say: all of these are my friends? I doubt it [out loud today].

I’m aware there’s a lot of talk about the up- and downsides of social media out there already. One of these is the change in our perception. What is a friend, really? Yes, I could go all old-fashioned and look up the definition in a dictionary. Obviously,I did – online, needless to say.

Even this definition is too loose for my preference and understanding of the term already. It’s easy to call pretty much everybody a ‘friend’. Anybody who went to school or college with you? A friend. That person you met on vacation years ago andexchanged numbers with, now texting every once in a blue moon or through short comments under each others Facebook pictures? A friend. Anybody you got to know growing up and don’t exactly hate? Talked about as a ‘friend’. But:

How many friends do we really have?

If you deleted your Instagram account, logged out of Facebook, Twitter and whichever other social network – how many friends would you still have? People who are interested in your life beyond pretty pictures, funny cat videos you shared or the information they can find scrolling through your Facebook profile.

A walk with a friend can brighten my day in no time.

Not only being the word fiend that I am, this change in our definition and use of the word friend makes me sad. Still, it has become so easy to call everybody we’re in a too-difficult-to-explain relationship with a friend. I’m not shunning anybody for using the word ‘friend’ lightheartedly and maybe a little too often. My point is to encourage myself and everybody reading to recollect who are your real friends. Get back in touch through a call, a good old-fashioned letter or even a visit.


Yes, I might have to pull out my phone to remember that one or the other phone number or address [okay, most of them because my brain needs it ;)]. But the connections I have with those people are deep. They are the ones who don’t mind how much time has passed since you last met – instant connection the moment you meet again. The ones that don’t just leave a quick Facebook comment on your birthday but call you. The ones who surprise you with random texts or snail mail – just to ask how you are or talk about this and that. These people are golden. They’re friends.


Happiness-inducing today: Bursting out into a dance spontaneously when a good song came on. I surprise myself sometimes …
No questions today but whatever comes to your mind on the topic.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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14 thoughts on “Who are your friends, really?

  1. themindfulmaritimer says:

    So interesting.. Being back home I don’t technically have any physical friends and often find my self lonely. That being said I do consider my family to also be my friends, and the amount of people I connect with on social media keeps me going that’s for sure.

  2. Ms.J says:

    I’m with you on this one friend 🙂 . And I have to say that I love a post that gets me pondering . I would say: There are those special ones whose chemistry mingles so comfortably with mine that we “bond” from the word go – instant friends right there! Others I seem to determine as friends after a number of conversations between just the two of us; I believe it has entered the friend zone when we can enjoy each others company without needing a crowd/group to relieve any awkwardness or misunderstandings. And I actually didn’t realise this pattern previously..I’ve only just concluded that this is my stance on friendship (which I never bothered to dissect) after reading your thoughts on it.

  3. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    It’s scary to think how much relationships of any kind have changed because of social media. I used to hang out with my friends on a daily basis, and spend hours on the phone talking to them. Now, though? I’ll go days without seeing them or actually hearing them… Texting has become the norm, and while that’s all well and good as far as convenience goes, it definitely leaves something to be desired in the interaction department. It really is sad to see how much of an effort it’s become to stay in touch with people outside of that…

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s the same for me. I miss those ‘good old days’ of meeting most friends in school every day and others on the weekends. And then the same in university but ever since graduation and everybody moving to different places it’s become so hard to actually see each other.
      Given that trying to spontaneously call each other hasn’t worked well in the past I figure I’ll try setting regular phone dates – in those cases where visiting isn’t an easy option. But yes, staying in touch isn’t getting easier.

  4. evolvewithmary says:

    Great post! If I shut off all of my social media accounts I would be left with about 6 people who truly love me and are real friends. I’m going to send each of them a card this week just to tell them how much I love them. 🙂

  5. Juli says:

    You already know my thought on this! Getting older the word friend got so multilayerd and is not fitting to describe a relationship anymore.
    Your post just made me realize that I haven’t seen my best friend in months! This is so ridiculous!

  6. Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma says:

    Definitely strange to think about because social media now keeps us connected to old friend but also family who we don’t live near. It’s great that we have the option to keep in touch that way but I doubt the efforts would be made to call if FB was suddenly gone. It’s not coincidental to me that my group of closest friends in real life does not communicate on social media for the most part, but rather the old fashioned way.

  7. hungryforbalance says:

    Very thought provoking post. I know that if I deleted all accounts, the people who I would call ‘a friend’ would be only a handful, if that many. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you, Heather, and it’s the same for me. But – as cliché as it is – I’d rather have a handful of good trustworthy friends than a hundred I can’t confide in.

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