We aren’t born with an internal guide to friendships, we are however social creatures (mostly) and develop our social skills as we grow up. Friendships and the type of people we have in our lives also changes and evolves as we mature. We might have been best buds with the king or queen of sarcasm a decade ago, but now find that we would rather spend time with kinder, gentler souls. Alternatively, we might have been a big gamer and hung out with other nerds, but now we lost that interest and prefer to hang with party people. Also social media has brought a us into contact with new friends that we may have never even met in real life, but who share very similar interests. The Style Guy from GQ looks at a few aspects of friendship in the following excerpt.
What Are Friends (in the Age of Facebook)?
Ideally, a friend is someone you have actually met, someone you like and spend time with, although it is possible to establish a friendship through correspondence, particularly if one party is incarcerated. Traditionally, friendship required time; it demanded a certain intimacy that was not granted instantly. Today, however, thanks to the social networks’ digital exploitation of loneliness, horniness, and ambition, it is now widely believed that it is possible for one’s résumé or curriculum vitae to become friends with other people’s résumés or curricula vitae. A friend is a person, not a set of data. Friend is best used as a noun, and the uptick in its use as a transitive verb is unfortunate and hopefully a fad. I do not wish to friend or be friended, although I don’t mind the occasional befriending.
Friendship with Louts, Cads, and the Far Less Than Perfect
A young colleague asked me, “Well, what about being friends with a dick, an asshole, or a pompous bastard?” I was a bit puzzled by this at first, but I think that’s because younger people tend to hang in a crowd, and there are those friends who sort of come along with the group. As we get older and more intolerant, we become more independent of the posse and demanding of friends. I have, over the years, maintained some surprisingly lengthy friendships with seriously flawed persons, but in the end they have to get with it or just git. Ask yourself, is he getting better or getting worse? If he’s getting worse, cut him loose now; he’s probably terminal. Then ask yourself, is this scumbag worth the effort? If, after careful consideration, the answer is yes, the next step begins—”Listen, you asshole”—and from there you begin to explain the ways of the world in plain language.
Reaching Friend Capacity
When you’ve lived in New York as long as I have, you practically have to forget someone old to know someone new. There comes a point when one’s social network is simply saturated. Usually it’s not a matter of consciously dropping people; friendships tend to fall by the wayside when not maintained. And as life is change, sometimes a friend becomes irrelevant through no fault of his own. It’s the old growing-apart syndrome. This is the natural order. Don’t fight it. Embrace change. Retire the old address books.
Can you relate to the above? We certainly do and have dealt with all of those issues. We hope you are surrounded by good friends this lovely weekend!