That’s What Friends Are For…
“For good times, for bad times, I’ll be by your side forever more, that’s what friends are for!” – Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager
The year was 1982, Dionne Warwick and Friends (Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight) collaborated on a hit song entitled, “That’s What Friends Are For.” A lot has changed since then, especially when we look at the meaning of the word friend!
Recently, I was thinking about the topic of friendship and realized that back then the word friend seemed to have a much different meaning than it does today.
Back then, I knew who all of my friends were. I didn’t feel the need to connect virtually with people I never met just because they were friends of a friend on Facebook. They were my friends because we knew each other and we genuinely liked one another. We worked through the tough times because we valued each other and what we contributed to the friendship. We didn’t unfriend them on Facebook because we didn’t agree on politics, immigration, race issues, vaccinations, or God!
Back then, I didn’t need to know that my friends were drinking a cup of coffee, sitting in a restaurant, eating a doughnut, or burping.
Back then, we played games like dodge ball, baseball, and kick-the-can, where you had actual physical contact. It was real! I didn’t play an imaginary game with a person I whom I didn’t know or had never met.
Friendship & The Cancel Culture
The word friend has been diluted to a point that it really doesn’t hold much meaning. We cancel friends like we cancel a Starbucks’ order simply because they have different tastes and we don’t like them!
Today, there are people who have 4,000 friends on Facebook. Unfortunately, they correlate the number of virtual friends with their self-worth and/or their need for approval.
Than there are those who leverage Facebook to exert a false sense of control or power over others. If I don’t like what you post, I simply unfollow you but stay friends? That in-an-of-itself seems like an oxymoron. I don’t want to see your posts because I adamantly disagree with you. I don’t want to talk about it so I am going to unfollow you! But can we still be friends? WTH?
The reason this option exists is for Facebook. They use this to track your patterns of behavior to feed the giant AI computer algorithms to gather more information about you. They don’t do this to sell more ads, they do this because Facebook is your friend…right?
When friendship has no meaning, when there is no real connection, I can toss you aside and cancel you out simply because you are different than me or hold a different set of beliefs.
I can still count on 2 hands my good friends and on one hand my very best friends. These are the folks who have stood by me during the good times as well as the really tough times in my life. When we disagree we sit down and talk about it! When we feel like walking away, we have a conversation and talk straight, without blame or judgment (well maybe a little judgment).
I think this works because we always take accountability for ourselves and what we may have done to contribute to the disconnection. We don’t just blame others for our problems and walk away.
By the way, you know who you are and you know I am grateful that you are in my life because I have told you.
For those of you who:
- Get your sense of self-worth and value from the number of connections you have on Social Media
- Truly believe that you have 3,757 friends on Facebook
- Daily go through Facebook canceling out everyone who disagrees with you or posts your hatred onto others (btw this is self-hatred your projecting onto others- just an fyi)
- Believe anyone wants to see one more selfie of you or what you’re eating!
As your friend I think I need to tell you this…WAKE UP, get a real life, and get some real friends.
I wasn’t gonna say anything but…THAT’S what friends are for!
By the way, if you want to be a real friend to someone who might really need one? Click Here