Are Friends on Facebook Really Friends?

So, many of you out there have well over 200 friends. I even have 75. Others have over 1000. But, why?

What is the purpose of having more "friends" when you know they are actually people you know little about and may dislike if you met them in person? Online friends are deceptive and liars half the time. The only real friends are those you DO actually know and ACTUALLY call on the phone on a frequent basis. Usually, they are people you work with or family, not some total stranger who lives thousands of miles away and whose picture you see may not even be them.

How many of your 1000 friends would actually help you in time of need with food, money or clothes? We all know it would be those you see and talk with frequently and NOT online. Some celebrities have a public account and a private account, open only to family and others. The term friend today really means an "acquaintance", someone you barely know. I guess FB chose to use "friend" because the spelling was shorter! LOL.

Does having more "friends" make you feel better about your actual lonely life? Does it fill a void? Make you feel more important to someone? The more friends you have, the more nuisance it can be on FB. For, depending on settings, every time someone has some trite thing to say, you get the feed about it. Multiply that by thousands and soon your time on FB is forever.

FB encourages everyone to friend everyone with scores. It is all about revenue to FB. The more friends you have, the more advertisers may use their services, because the "sell" will be seen by more. Advertisers use those with thousands or hundreds of thousands of friends to help promote their product by using "Like".

The weird thing about it all is that, those under 20 or so, think the social online media is the normal way to meet "friends" and how to interact with them. They tend to think that actually talking with them, having them over, is not the normal way. Maybe they need to look up the word friend and acquaintance to know the difference.

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Comments 17 comments

CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

A strange curiousity it is for me as well... Maybe I take the word 'friend' too definitively?... Why aren't they labled as being what they truly are? A cyber aquaintance at best... But a friend ? One that has never shaken my hand, provided me a hug, or kissed my cheek ?.. Self prescribed image building at its best... With a heavy dose of ego fortification for those so insecure with their level of percieved popularity... I will never truly understand the friends that I have never truly met... Thanks perrya +


beaddve 4 years ago

The business goal of Facebook is everyone to connect others more open. Under this standard, friends are included many types.. close friends, normal friends, hi-bye friends, random friends, and even friends with benefits......

It is users' personal preference to add friends on their facebook, and some of them use their profile and image to promote their business. You can see that all the time on DJ, Public Figure, unwell-known leader, etc. They believe that is a good way to market their service, events, etc when they add more people on their Facebook.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

One could say the same thing about Hub Pages followers. How many "followers" actually regularly read the work of those they follow? I try, but it is not easy.


Jlava73 profile image

Jlava73 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

Hi Perrya,

I have often thought audience would be more appropriate a term. I have over 600 friends on FB and a large twitter following - most of these folks are not people I see often or talk to by phone but there are things about them I can appreciate and similar interests we share. I am slowly changing my attitude about Social networks but balance between the real world and the virtual world is key.


yssubramanyam profile image

yssubramanyam 4 years ago from india, nellore. andhrapradesh

people are proud of this friends, friend ship is never on request. it is by chance relation. when we can not love neighbor, what is the use of loving some unknown individual?


myownlife profile image

myownlife 4 years ago from london

Good to share experience regarding facebook, actually whatsoever we are doing making money for Mr Mark, I have more than 300 friends, very few of them are my well-known friends as you have mentioned less than 5 % can help me, its a kind of fun and fakebook.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

@Jlava-yes, that is a good term, audience = friend.


nochance profile image

nochance 4 years ago from Duluth, MN

I have approximately 100 facebook friends. Of those 2 are people I met in an online forum and I think are wonderful people, a couple are friends of friends that I've met a couple times. About half are people I used to be really good friends with but life has moved us apart (locationally speaking) and the other half are people I see on a regular basis.

Facebook allows me to share with all of these people and keep in touch (I really hate talking on the phone).


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

@nochance, but a phone is personal and instant, is that why you don't like it?


Jayfort 4 years ago

I have a sizable family, a small group of close friends, numerous coworkers and associates, and lots of acquaintances. My FB account currently shows 340 FB Friends. I know all of them to one extent or another.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

I guess the word friend means different things to people.


steinbergr profile image

steinbergr 4 years ago from Israel

I agree. The word friend does mean different things to different people. I know people who have thousands of Facebook friends and use it as a gauge for how popular they are. These people spend all day on their Blackberries generally talking to only 10-15 contacts at a time. I admit that I do have a few more than 500 friends but I have made a point of cleaning up my friend list every once in a while and only friend people I have spoken to in person.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 4 years ago from Lost in America

Games when there's nothing else to do and work is tiresome. Reuniting with friends from the past who we've lost touch.

I learned not to friend people from here because it turned out to be a tool to get to my personal life.

I've made many acquaintances through games that just give me a laugh or chuckle here n' there with photos, sayings etc.

I had a fellow gamer with 1000 people on her list. She posted her rent was short $50. could anyone help her. Not one person responded except me. I asked why would she ask for money, was she hungry! I would have sent her food as I'd been a long time gaming friend. But later that night she posted via her cell phone inviting friends to meet her at the bar by her house. Now that was a person who got deleted. Others are on private, game only feed who are not my actual friends that I spend time with and would help or have even helped me in the past.

Friend- meaning- indeed.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

There is a new coming out regarding this topic, it should be interesting to see.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 4 years ago from Lost in America

The good parts to some networking and websites are the fact there's kids in college, and they are learning, and profiting from what they've learned. Not saying it always turns out to be good because it's not ending up to be an ongoing job. They get rich then forget education! But on the other hand it's encouraging for other kids to go and continue their education. Double edge sword I guess.


Jayfort 4 years ago

FB has been a wonderful way for me to reconnect with family, old classmates, former military buddies, etc...


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

I agree with both. Usually, I just communicate with those I know to some degree in a personal way, others, just as an acquaintance.

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