ollow, like, share and subscribe. This is the language of friendship in the age of social media, where we’re friends on Facebook until you change your profile picture and I suddenly don’t know you from Charlie anymore. The word ‘friend’ is becoming as ambiguous as the word ‘love.’
“I love that sweater on you, Carla.”
“This? Thanks. I got it from my friend Diane.”
“Is that the Diane who shares all those pictures on your wall?”
“No, she’s just my friend on Facebook. I don’t know her.”
Back in my day, young’uns collected Pogs and Pokemon cards. Today’s youth collect friends. Every new friendship, follow and like is a badge of social prestige. But really, How Many Friends Does One Person Need?
Friendship, like any other positive relationship, has to be mutually beneficial to all parties. You get someone to agree with and back up your opinions, someone with whom to eat a quart of ice cream, or stay up with until all hours of the night getting shit-faced. This same friend will hold your hair back as you violently vomit, then post pictures of it with hashtag luvUgurl all over the internet.
In International Relations your friends have got your back when you need to get tough on some douche hiding a nuke behind their garden shed. And when you’ve got to go balls to the wall with Russia in a vodka drinking contest, your friends will be there beside you, egging you on, making sure you don’t give up until you’re secured in the ambulance. The pictures will be all over Facebook the next morning, hashtag LostTehBattleNotTehWar hashtag IndustrialStainRemover hashtag InternationIncident.
So what is the benefit of being friends with hundreds of people you honestly probably couldn’t stand to be in the same room with for more than a few minutes? It’s all in the feeling of rubbing social superiority in the face of the bitch who unfriended you last week.