Through our lives, each and every one of us meets and become acquainted with a range of people with unique characteristics, personalities and lifestyles. Friendships begin to bloom and circles of trust begin to form. Yet, we all have friends that are closer than others; indeed, friends can be categorised into ‘friends’, ‘good friends’, ‘close friends’ and the ultimate ‘best friend’. However, as the years roll by and we gradually become older, some friendships begin to fizzle out until eventually all contact is dissolved. This gradual disappearance of a once-budding friendship is of course a loss to both persons involved yet it also to a certain extent is inevitable; as much like romantic relationships, friendships need both people’s time and energy in order to flourish and grow emotionally.
Needless to say, we all prefer to be close to those who bring out the best in us and whose company that makes us feel happy, secure and engaged in both light-hearted and more meaningful conversations. Likewise, friendships that make you feel drained of energy, make you feel unheard due to their endless dramas or even make you feel used through their pestering favour requests, unquestionably will make you feel less inclined to spend time with them resulting in the need particular consideration as to whether your time and energy is worth the exchange of their ‘friendship’. Yet, despite this, to what extent do we keep such friendships in order to maintain a sense of ‘popularity’; as when it comes to friendships, many wrongly believe that importance lies within the quantity and not quality of friendships.
Through social networking sites, such as that of ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ in particular, the idea of the importance of popularity has never been so rife. The more ‘friends’ we have on these sites, the more ‘popular’ we deem ourselves to be…but, who are these ‘friends’ anyway? Are every one of those two hundred and something plus friends on these sites truly friends? It made me think that maybe the idea and definition of ‘friend’ is changing; yet the socially constructed importance of popularity has really always been present within the fabric of society-it is just now more overt with the introduction of social networking sites.
Words by: Natasha Ayres