Before the advent of social media, we used to have real friends and real relationships. These relationships were built on sacrifice and nurtured on mutual trust. When you say someone was your friend, it literally meant they were your family. Their loyalty was unquestionable and though as humans they may fall short but they never give up on you.Today, it’s hard to tell who your real friends are and who is really in a relationship with you. Your friends are not necessarily the ones who chat with you the most or the ones who like your pictures, comment on anything you post or write on your wall on your birthday. These actions are worth appreciating but we don’t have to get too carried away by the gesture that we fail to see its shallowness. True friendship is built in the real world and over a period of time.
Social media makes us put our trust in friends that haven’t earned to be so called. People become your friends or start off relationships with you on the various social media platforms for various reasons. There are those whose insecurities make it difficult for them to interact with you in real life, those who are reconnecting with you after a long time and others who are mostly strangers that take advantage of the access they have to you.
These virtual relationships can lead to positive outcomes in some cases but only few of them lead to happy endings. Most of them become selfish, dangerous, embarrassing and sometimes fatal.The purpose of this article is to help you distinguish understand what true friendship is and to encourage you to invest more time to pursuing real lasting relationships. I am not entirely against virtual relationships but it’s safer to relate with the wheat than the chaff.A Follower Is Not A FriendIt is important at this point to distinguish between a friend and a follower. I will simply put it this way, a follower is someone who has not really earned the right to be called a friend. A friend is like silver, you can’t tell their true value until they have gone through fire with you.People admire and follow you on social media because they perceive you in a certain way. But most of them will not be patient enough to support you when the need arises. It takes more than just following someone to become their friends; you have to pay the price.Your Friend Is Your FamilyBeing friends with someone makes you a part of his or her family. The parents look out for you as if you were their child and the siblings and even extended family members took you as one of their own.Growing up, I had many fathers, mothers and countless siblings. What one family lacked, the other made up for. Every holiday is shared among my numerous family members. This experience shaped my life and gave me a broader view of life.Youths of today miss out on all of these because social media has created a false enclave that has swallowed them up. They spend more time online with virtual contacts than with real people thus creating an indelible vacuum.Only Real Friends Can Tell You The TruthTruth is like fire, it refines every relationship. Your friends are the ones who would tell you the truth no matter the circumstance. They say it in such a way that the love in their voice overrides whatever impact the truth leaves in your heart. The truth hurts but everyone needs to hear it quite often.Most of what you come across on social media are calculated deceit. People mislead you on everything. They put up appearances to get your attention with little or no regard for truth. If you want to find out about someone, the last place you should look is on a social media platform.A Real Friend’s Love Is EvergreenYour true friends do not need to tell you they love you because you can always feel it every time you around them. You are indebted to them for life because they go out of their way to give you their best. True friends are priceless and they are very rare to find.I know a couple of people who have found love on social media but most of it played out in real life. However, it is important to note that due to the nature of the social media platforms, desire can painted in colours of love and does fade as fast as it blossoms.Real Friends Can’t Hurt You DeeplyForgiveness is another key element of friendship. If someone says they are your friend and have done nothing wrong against you, it is one of two things; they are either pretending or you haven’t been friends for too long. Friends don’t go out of their way to hurt one another but sometimes their humanity gets the best of them. The ability to forgive your friends who trespass against you is the hallmark of a great friendship.Real Friends Help You Discover YourselfWith your true friends you are real. They don’t compel you to be more or less of who you truly are. They do not judge you and simply accept you the way you are. They know all our flaws and weaknesses yet they see your value and encourage you to be the best.By virtue of its nature, majority of the things on social media are make-believe. Everyone tries to outshine the other leaving those who can’t compete to deceit. It’s even more disturbing when you see people you know in real life become so transformed. Honestly, social media basically takes you far and far away from true self. Sometimes this can be a good thing and other times it might not be too good.
Every Real Friend is Unique No two of your friends are the same; they are all special in their own way and complement you absolutely. They fill a void in your life such their absence makes you incomplete. You might be able to adjust to life without them but there would be that constant reminder that once upon a time they rocked your world.Real Friends Can be Lost and Found
Friendship never dies a natural death. It only ends because you fail to replenish its source due to selfishness or carelessness. There is always that point in your life where you become too busy for the people that care about you. Your ambition becomes more important leaving your friends starving for your attention.
Not everyone will understand what you are going through and after a while they will seek new alliances. Never neglect your real friends because when the chips are down they are the only ones left to pull you back up.The attachment to friends on social media is not as strong as the one with real friends. And very little value is placed on the numerous friends you have there. It’s hard to know how many friends you have left and sometimes you don’t care.Real Friends Live Forever
When you lose a friend to death, a part of you slowly goes with them. And the scars they leave in your life will never go away because they are just irreplaceable. They leave a place in your heart that will never be filled and even in your finest moment you will know it that something is missing.
Originally shared on I-Inspire Naija