The word “friend” used to mean something very different when we were younger. It used to mean someone you shared experiences with, someone who knew a lot about you, someone you were with in school. And even back then, not all our school colleagues were our friends.
But since 2007, Facebook has redefined what it means to be a “friend”. I’m assuming everyone reading this article is on Facebook, so you know how a “friend” can mean someone you’ve met only once.
Those are your virtual friends, and then there are your real friends who you actually know well in person. But there are also your REAL friends, those who know you so well that you’ve probably known them since you were a kid.
Your virtual friends think you’re super nice and polite because you use a full stop at the end of every sentence.
Your real friends ask if there’s something wrong when your texts are unusual, but when you say, “No, everything is fine,” they take your word for it.
Your REAL friends know the meaning of every grammatical choice you make, every little mistake and what your exact choice of words means.
Your virtual friends know what you’re eating from your Instagram breakfast posts (Stop those. Please?).
Your real friends remember some of your favourite foods and some of the things you dislike.
Your REAL friends stuff your mouth with food you don’t like just to tease you.
Your virtual friends make assumptions about when you go to bed and when you wake up based on your social media activity.
Your real friends are so polite at sleepovers that they wake up pretending they weren’t annoyed from your kicking or you taking the covers from them.
Your REAL friends have photos and videos of you drooling in weird sleeping positions and audio files of your snoring when you were dead-tired after that all-nighter you guys pulled.
Virtual friends like some of your pictures, but they don’t say much about what you choose to wear.
Real friends will have an opinion regarding your fashion sense. Like, “What has gotten into her/him? Why has s/he become so weird?” Or, “I like that, it’s so bold and interesting.” Or even, “Bluhhhh.”
REAL friends will come to your house, take all your good clothes and wear them.
Virtual friends follow or unfollow you based on how much they like your posts.
Real friends always think twice before they unfollow you. Or they just turn off notifications, but they feel it’s rude to unfollow a real friend.
REAL friends sometimes post for you. They stalk you. They have an opinion the minute you post anything; they are literally your fans (or they hate the shit you post and they say it to your face!).
Virtual friends assume you’re hooking up with or dating someone based on your social media activity together.
Real friends usually “feel” it.
REAL friends are the best wingmen (and wingwomen)!
The Way You Speak
Virtual friends don’t notice most of your mistakes.
Real friends notice your mistakes, they have an image of you, and they judge you based on it.
REAL friends correct all your mistakes. They blackmail you for things you say, words you use and what you post.
Virtual friends don’t take real sides; they may voice an opinion, but they don’t really care that much.
Real friends choose a side they are comfortable with.
REAL friends may choose a side different from yours, but they will always pretend to be on your side in public.
Virtual friends may know your family from the pictures you post.
Real friends have met them before and think they’re “so nice!”
REAL friends know your parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, second cousins, their children, their grandparents, your aunt’s aunt’s aunt, your grandmother’s long lost cousin, and everyone in between.
Virtual friends might remember you while reading this, or not. It all depends on how many times you appear on their newsfeed.
Real friends might decide to call and get closer to you when they finish this article.
REAL friends do not need to read it to know you’re REAL friends. You just are; no need for validation.
We all make different investments. Invest in your friendships. Make your deep ones really deep; it’s definitely worth it. But before you expect someone to be a good friend, become one yourself.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss 13 Reasons Why Your Best Friend Is The Only Therapist You’ll Ever Need and The White Lies Our Best Friends Tell Us that We Refuse to Without.