Social media is transforming and shaping friendships every day. Busy moms no longer have to spend hours on the phone to stay in touch with our BFFs (Best Friends Forever), we can now text, chat, PM, and tweet – all while sitting bra-less on the couch in our yoga pants. We can juggle kids, cooking, errands, meetings, and appointments while we are saving the world with our girl friends over social media.
The flip side to this convenient and easy-access to friendship is really that the term “friends” has become diluted. We “find friends” on Facebook at the speed of light. Many times we add friends we have never met in person. Without hesitation we let these strangers into our lives because of a shared affinity, hobby, or simply because we have 7 mutual friends.
So how do we discern Facebook friends (FBFs) from our REAL friends? In theory this should be an easy exercise, but as we become bigger social butterflies it gets harder to remember who was with us before “like”, “comment” and “share” took the place of “phone calls”, “greeting cards” and “coffee together.”
Ten signs that your FBF is a BFF:
- She knows your kids’ full names, and doesn’t refer to them by their first initial like you do on Facebook.
- You know she is pregnant as soon as she has seen two blue lines. By the time she posts the first ultrasound picture on Facebook you have already bought her a baby gift.
- When you tweet that you are about to have a toddler-sized tantrum she will actually call to let you vent about your day.
- The pictures she posted from last night’s evening out are of the two of you. You are tagged, while all your mutual friends are left to just “like” and “comment.”
- You remember each other’s birthdays well in advance of Facebook reminding you.
- You know who all her passive aggressive posts are directed towards – and it is never you.
- She still recognizes your posts in her newsfeed after you change your profile picture.
- You can comfortably write to her about anything, knowing that she will never share screenshots of your correspondence with anyone else.
- When her Facebook profile picture is a cartoon character you still remember what she looks like in person.
- She knows how to pronounce your name! (- this is my personal favorite!)
While I enjoy following the lives of my 483 Facebook friends, I know that the number of people who are TRUE friends is much less. Social media is great to consolidate acquaintances, connect people with similar interests and to help stay in touch with family and friends across the miles. It will however, never take the place of having a human connection that fuses two lives together by way of friendship, care and consideration for each other. Social media may bring us together initially, but the common ground that will solidify our friendship includes a mutual respect and appreciation for each other, some effort and lots of time.