Friends on Social NetworksAre they True?

Photo Credit:
Kumar Sunil

Kumar Sunil

Dreamer & Enthusiast

Creative. One word says it all for Sunil. A engineer, an enthusiastic and conscientious Information Technology consultant by profession, Sunil shares a special interest with entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

On Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Co. We are networked with the colleague just like with mom. But, honestly, ask yourself, do you know them all by names?

Every weekend, I ask myself, “whether or not should I delete a few friends that I rarely talk to?” Strange question, right? It becomes easy for me to delete someone who posts any nonsense things, but still I choose to hide them and not delete them. It becomes hard to deal with loved ones. I ponder, if I delete them, how they are going to affect my friendship. Deleting them is not easy as it is not just a matter of an energetic click and a light heart? Aren’t we into a mishmash of contacts? Isn’t seem quite funny that we keep them as friends, but through our privacy setting, we restrict the area they can explore on our profile. We like people to tag us, we like them to like each and everything we post and we like them to react the weirdest way they can. Social networks seems like a beautiful democratic thing, but damn inconvenient when it comes to feelings.

In a survey 73 percent people said that the internet friendships barely work and by no means, they are as profound as those obtained with people you know personally. We cannot deny the fact that internet friends are strangers and right from the day one we are told not to trust a stranger. No denial, these social media websites are actually changing the ‘basis of friendship’ and ‘ nature of friendship.’ Ask yourself, can you rely on a person whom you never met in your lifetime? According to human psychology experts – at least a meeting is a must before we can trust someone; face-to-face contact is imperative in forming a relationship. On the internet, deception is as easy as peeling a banana; even a teenager can do.

You might find it strange, but anthropologist Robin says, “the number of people you can share trust are obligations with is 150.” This number means – we can only maintain 150 friends to the maximum, though you can afford to have a larger circle than this; a circle of people whom you know, but rarely deal. Here, it seems completely pointless to collect friends you have lost touch with from your past. Why trusting me! Give it a check. If I talk about facebook in particular – you might have more than 200 friends. But, do you think you can nourish them all? Most of the time, when in need, we never call people we know on facebook. Am I right? Actually, these social media websites are badly amending the definition of friendships.

Let me ask, don’t you think, most of us are not clear about – “what is the friend?” For Mr. A, a friend could be someone who offers “emotional support,” and for Mr. B, it could be “someone whose life crossed mine.” We make a lot of people, be it in the pub, disc, shopping mall and, etc. Quite obviously, a few of them are very important as compared to others. I might not be comfortable in sharing drinks with everyone. The reason being, “friend” as a word is not as useful as we think it could be. Our improper definitions are causing us troubles because in real-terms friendship is all about healthy affiliations and intimacies between people connected. Generally speaking – quality weighs more than quantity. The situation for digital immigrants; who were born before the technology was introduced (before FB and other social media platforms) is not as worst as for those who are digital natives (born after these inventions). Today, the most surprising statement is – “I am not using Facebook.”

We need to understand that it is all about addiction. We do things because we feel like doing and not because someone is forcing us to do. By this, I am not saying that one should not use these platforms and one should refrain oneself from making online friends. According to a few researchers, having friends mean a socially active soul. Social bonds reduce the risk of disease by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate. A lack of close confidants is as harmful to your health as smoking or being overweight. Indeed, people without friends are more likely to die younger.

My only concerns are – having a clear definition of “friend” before making one and “the extent of its impact on our life.”