Quick think back to when you were growing up, who was your best friend. Maybe there was a group of you, 3 or 4, that were inseparable. Those were your best friends. They were the ones who always knew what kind of candy you wanted for the movies. They treated your siblings with the same love or disdain as you did. They were probably pretty constant throughout the years. You may have had a best friends necklace, the heart one that broke in two and boy was that special...However you weren't writing I Love You everywhere. You probably didn't hug every time you left each other. Nor were you declaring you were BFF's every chance you got.
I don't understand today's generation's definition not only of Best Friend but simply of friend. First the best friend issue. How many do they need? Do they really think someone out there is keeping score for the big trophy? If they share more than 5 minutes of communal air they need to declare they are friends, I blame facebook for a lot of it. Then the BFF issue! If you are FB friends with a teenager look at their different lists. They have best friends, bestest friends, people they can't live without. It is almost as if they are afraid that if the relationship doesn't have a classifier in front of it than it can't be real. Drives me absolutely bananas.
We spend a lot of time on "The Tube" last summer when we were in London. One of the favorite stories from those rides is of two little girls. Each was with their father and about 4 years old. They were sitting across from each other in a fairly empty car when one of them shouts in her sweet little British voice ~ "Won't you be my friend?". They went on to play Monster chase until one left, sharing a sweet little hug before leaving the car. For the rest of the trip every now and then someone would repeat "Won't you be my friend". The girls giggled and entertained those on the tube that morning and when they parted their friendship ended. Their "friendship" was for the moment, it served a purpose and was done, Why do we feel the need that once we share the slightest time with someone there's an obligation to maintain that connection?
According to research the human brain can hold about 150 meaningful relationships in their head. This number is actually called the Dunbar number. NPR did a great story on Dunbar's Number last week. Your family members are a part of the 150, so really not leaving alot of room when you add co-workers, neighbors and such. Well thanks for FB we don't actually have to hold all those relationships in our head, they're stored right there on our profile for us.
Now I'll admit I have more than 150 FB friends. I have my real friends then I have a group of friends simply for playing Monopoly (yes I have a problem that will be another blog). I am very selective who I even play games with and those people are blocked from seeing anything on my wall that isn't related to the game. Granted I had to learn how to really tweak my privacy features to do that but I've got it down.
So now that we're all reconnecting with EVERYONE from high school, regardless if we actually did more than sit behind them in science, we're also connecting with mutual friends, spouses of friends even friends of our spouses. So here is where my questions begin:
- Where does the line get drawn?
- Which friends can you really be honest friends with ?
- Which people are willing to put up with your nonsense for a reasonable amount of time adn then call you on it?
- Are you comfortable in calling people out on their stuff?
- Should FB create an acquaintance only page?
The pastor of our church believes in the number 5 when it comes to small groups. Using your hand he explains you can only be responsible for 5 people at a time, yourself included. Think of how you make a fist, your thumb/you protectively covers the other 4 fingers/friends. What a tight and strong group that becomes.
|You hear this whenever the doors open|
|The lines are color coordinated so you don't get on the wrong train Yellow= Circle Line|
|Just chilling on the Underground|