Quality still trumps quantity where good friendships are concerned. It’s easy to forget that in a hoarding culture where one can never have enough bags, shoes, frequent flyer miles or… ‘friends.’ The demand to consume – the race to have the most and the best of any and everything is at a feverish pitch.
For the most part our Facebook “friends” are just that — Facebook friends. We may share some similar ‘likes’ (and some very personal, sometimes inappropriate, status updates from time to time) but the buck tends to stop along the lines of popularity — another manifestation of consumerist overindulgence I suppose. But goodness can it ever be seductive to have such in-depth, emotionally charged conversations with virtual strangers, I mean friends, via shared posts.
So back to our ‘real life,’ or more accurately our material, embodied friends. Should we re-learn to overindulge in those friendships? Can we become obsessed creating newer memories and conversations (so we aren’t re-telling stories from decades ago at every get together), displaying more interest in and a longer memory span for their life updates as opposed to primarily our own? Can we become better listeners not necessarily with the end goal of having impressive answers, a pavlovian tendency we are trained to display in the competitive workplace, but merely for listening sake?
Might we strive to attend to one anothers’ celebrations and to lend a physical shoulder for challenges as opposed to a poke or an emoticon? I’m no expert on friendships and I’ve got my fair share of reflecting to do myself. I just hope some of you will join me. JILL ANDREW