(Part 1)Have true friendships become disposable? With the spread of instant communication via various technologies, the ability to communicate with anyone you know is limited only by your cellphone directory, email address book or IM friends list. If they don’t answer or respond? Blip! They are deleted, removed, purged to make room for someone else who can satisfy the need for instant social gratification, even if they have nothing to say.

As a child (with my parents), then later on my own as an adult, I would participate in the ritual of walking, cycling, driving to someone who I considered a friend’s home if they hadn’t been heard from in some time just to see how they were doing. Would I be considered nosey or just old fashioned if I did that today? (I can’t name a single person I know who still does this though at one time it was common)

(Part 2)I know someone via a shared hobby we participate in. Recently they have called my home a number of times. If I’m in the middle of something or was planning another activity I’d ask them (very courteously of course) why they were calling. Each time their reply has been, “No reason. I was just using up some of my free cellphone minutes.”

I believe technology has broken thru the barriers once imposed by space/time allowing “friendships” to exist in ways not previously possible. However, and this is my real concern, the qualities and ideas used to define who or what a “friend” is, has caused the term to lose its real meaning and become superficial. (fully acknowledging we LJ users have a “friends” list)


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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2 Responses to

  1. mmmmgreen says:

    the qualities and ideas used to define who or what a “friend” is, has caused the term to become quite shallow
    I agree. We have an employee engagement survey that we take each year at work. One of the questions is “Do you have a best friend at work?”
    Best friend… not just a friend, but a BEST friend.
    In my mind that question is set up to get a bad result, but apparently I’m wrong. Many people at my work have “Best friends” there. I have lots of acquaintances, maybe 1 or 2 who I would say are close to being just friends, and the only reason I have a best friend at work is because my sister works there too.

  2. saint_chree says:

    I go visit older friends if a) I am in that part of town with nothing to do and b) I am sure that my unexpected arrival won’t be creepy or interrupt sleep.

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