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It’s funny how just over ten years ago no one had even heard of Facebook. Yet today we seem to experience physical stress when we’re de-friending (or being de-friended by) someone on the social network. I’ve struggled with the definition of “friendship” for a long time. True friendship to me means, amongst other things, actively involving those people you call your friends in your own life. Sharing is caring, so to speak. Let’s face it – if you have 400, 800, or even more people in your friends list that becomes impossible, even if you “share” a lot on social media. Most of those “friends” appear to be merely a collection of individuals we met once or twice in our lives.
To me, this can be a good thing. Living across the Atlantic I have many people I deeply care about who I can now stay in touch with via various social media sites. Have you ever realized how lucky you are to have friends from all over the world at your finger tips? It’s so easy to stay in touch with far-away friends, family and relatives we otherwise would have lost touch with long time ago. The internet is a beautiful thing.
But, as with most things, there’s a shadow side. Science has proven we experience an endorphin release in our brain when someone “likes” us on Facebook. Does that mean our brain has physically replaced the human need for interaction with others, by someone clicking a button on a website? Even if that’s partially true, we live in a lonely planet. We’re always connected, but never truly engaged.
I chose quality over quantity, and went from over 400 friends in early 2013 to just under a 100 just a few years later. Most of those I de-“friend”ed myself (sorry), others de-friended me (I know who you are). It’s ok. What’s the point in keeping a collection of people that play no part whatsoever in our daily lives, that we yet somehow feel good about saving as a “friend”. People come and go, leaving memories and (for some) footprints in our hearts.
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