The definition(s) of a friend

I’m sorry that I have not been writing as often as I was earlier this month and last month, but school has kept me busy.

Last Friday, for some reason or another, my study hall was moved to the lunch room, called the commons at my school. I started my Algebra II pre-AP homework, but got stuck when I could not factor a polynomial using synthetic division like I was supposed to. I sought help from a friend who is taking French 4, and together we solved the math problem while speaking French. There was another person at the table, a fellow sophomore who was completely lost by the lack of English in the conversation, who is taking AP chemistry and AP statistics. He also helped me once English was spoken again, gaining me a new friend.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because we all need a friend in life. However, the definition of “friend” varies in context. I made a new friend on Friday, but what does that mean exactly? The word “friend” has so many meanings and definitions that overlap, it’s hard to tell what someone is trying to convey when using the term. This is what I wanted to talk to you about.

 

The “friend” of mass media:

In many mass media websites and apps, such as google, twitter, Facebook, and others, people are able to “friend” other people or “follow” them. The two terms are used on different sites, but they mean the same thing. A “friend” on mass media is just someone who usually has no idea who you are, but had a common interest in a picture you posted, or something along the lines of that. They don’t know you, they don’t care about you, they are perhaps on the other side of the planet and have no idea where or who you are. With that being said, do you really have friends on social media? Probably not, but having a common interest in something allows you to enjoy the illusion of having friends. Social media friends are not friends at all; they are an illusion. They are followers, not friends.

 

School/work friend:

Most friends at work or at school fall under this category. You talk to them, work on projects with them, but otherwise don’t interact. People confuse the term “acquaintance” with this version of the word “friend”, but these friends are not friends at all. Although they have more of a relationship with you than the previous category, they are not the people you invite over for dinner or hang out with outside of school. You don’t see this friend outside of the environment in which you met. You don’t interact with this friend outside of this environment. This version of the friend should really just be referred to as a colleague or classmate because you don’t interact with them unless you have to. You get along with them, but that’s about all.

 

Friends you choose

The people you choose to be your friend tend to be the ones you meet outside of the work environment or school. These are the people you eat lunch with, study with, volunteer with, and do extracurricular things with, such as clubs or sports. These are the people you really have something in common with, who’s company you enjoy, but they are not your closest friends. You don’t invite these friends over. You may spend time with them outside of work or school, but they are not close friends. You don’t share your problems or secrets with these friends. This category of people are friends, whereas the ones before were not, but these are not the people you get too personal with.

 

Good friends

This category of friend is the true definition of a friend. These are the people you share secrets with and invite over to your residence. These are the friends you have most in common with, that you tend to always be around. These people you trust and they trust you. These people truly care about you, your well being, and you health. You can count on these people for favors and they can count on you for help as well. These are the people you try to find in life.

 

Soul friends

Often referred to as soul-sister or soul-mate, these people are rare. These are people who you could be twins with if you had similar genetics. You like the exact same things as this friend and could almost be attached at the hip with them. These are the people who you know will be a close friend the moment you see them. These are the friends you will most likely keep for life.

 

My friend is in the third category, school friends, but I hope he climbs the ladder to be “friends you choose”.

Now that you know about the four categories of the “friend”, perhaps it may help you in the near future. It is important to know what role people in your life play on a day to day basis because it shows you how important they are to you. Most of humanity has issues realizing that there are these definitions for the same word. The don’t know how to categorize the people around them.

I wish you the best of luck with this confusing aspect of life.

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