Friends are people close to you. They are those people that you invite inside your circle because they accept you the way you do to them. They're there when you need them and they're the ones you can depend on when you want their presence.
Social media networks are more than plenty, and they all offer similar things while giving different unique services. While the most prominent one is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among others, is having a huge online network of friends actually helps you in strengthening you real-life relationship?
Since adding someone as a "friend" on social media networks is just a few clicks/taps away, making friends in theory should be easy, right?
Apparently not. Your social media friends couldn't care less about you. A research concluded that most of your online friends are fake, and only a small portion of them are really your "friends".
Maintaining meaningful friendships, both online and offline, requires lots of time and mental effort. Good things doesn't (rarely) come easy. For someone to become one true friend, it takes a lot of effort.
Having a online presence on various social media is what people have in common in the modern digital age. With social media and mobile devices available, you can share and keep yourself updated with the current information and news regarding your "friends", family members, colleagues, and other people you chose to be near you.
By updating your status, uploading your current pictures, sharing your photo gallery, sharing your opinions regarding something, you really want your friends to hear and comment. While some people do get the benefit, but most others things you can get there are illusions.
A research concluded that having a lot of friends online doesn't mean you'll have more people to depend on when you need them. Researches show that we tend to keep our friends small and grouped, and that also applies to both real-life and on the internet.
A study by an Oxford psychologist found that having about a person with 150 friends on Facebook, you would normally turn to about four of them in an "emotional crisis" and 14 for "sympathy. People tend to bring that habit to real life. So even you have plenty of friends you can brag, the number does not represent your true friends.
Friends With Benefits
Having friends is having a mutual benefit in which both of the parties can fill the gap of other's weakness. This kind of relationship is expensive in terms of time to invest on the person. A friendship will deteriorate if not maintained properly.
With all the power social media networks have in common, will they help you in getting new friends?
Technology has advanced a lot since the days computers and internet were invented. Social media networks are just one of the side products created along with the rise of trend and popularity of people going online. Technology indeed makes a great job in delivering face-to-face interaction, but technology could never replace the intimacy humans need.
Technology is just a medium in which humans can use to do something otherwise difficult of impossible. But the intimacy to create "true friends" is somehow very limited, and this bound us to get the type of "friends" we can have in real life.
But this doesn't mean that technology could never allow us to overcome such constraints. Social media did a good job in getting people together into one place, delivering actual information so time and distance somehow aren't a big matter anymore. But humans need their human senses to interact.
Friendship blooms with interaction, and it's depending on senses. This may include vision, smell, touch and others. This overlooked fact is central in how humans, or any living things for that matter, interact with each other. This makes a big difference between online communication and face-to-face meeting, for example.
Technology is a great substitute and an alternative when the real thing isn't available. But it could never replace the feeling of togetherness. They can make people easier to keep friendships alive, but it's not yet enough to prevent friendships from withering and networks from shrinking over time.
New technologies will need to evolve to include more "human senses" to make this digital relationship mimic the real life interaction.
Until social media networks can develop more ways for meaningful interaction, most friends on the web are just like some wandering strangers your permit to enter your territory. While most people never mind and never realize that fact, many other people aren't denying it.