ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Friends - real or virtual?

Updated on October 14, 2014

What real friendship means

An article about friends, acquaintances and virtual friends. In this article I take a look at the role of friends, the difference between friends you know and friends you make over the internet.

Since writing this I have come to realise people have wondered what I meant by 'virtual friends' - I suppose I made that up to represent friends in cyber-space, as in virtual reality. These are people you know, probably chat to online, but may not have actually met.

What makes a true friend? What happens to friends if you split from your partner? How can you tell if someone is genuine. For the answers, read on...


Photo courtesy of Tina Phillips at www.freedigitalphotos.net (http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photo... with thanks.

Photo by: Graur Codrin at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Photo by: Graur Codrin at www.freedigitalphotos.net

How many friends have you got?

Be honest...

If you ask someone how many friends they have they would probably reply with an unrealistic figure. Most of us are lucky to be able to count true friends on more than one hand, any more are likely to be acquaintances.

Take the likes of Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to name a few social network sites - many people establish contact with others via these and presto, they have new friends. For the younger generation it seems to be a competition as to who has the most friends on their page, for the older ones they are more sceptical, often querying a friendship request by asking, 'Do I/should I know you?' How can you be friends with someone you don't know and why would you want to share your most intimate self with a stranger?

type=text
type=text

Helping hands

That is what true friendship is based on; being able to share something with another person on an intimate basis. It creates a special bond that is unique between all your friends, for instance you may interact differently with friend A to friend B because of their individual personalities. You instantly know whom you can rely on in a situation because of what each friend brings to the relationship.

But friendship isn't just about being able to rely on others, it is about give and take. You must also be reliable in return and a true friend wouldn't stare at the clock when their mate is having a crisis and ask, 'Can we deal with this in the morning?' A true friend would be prepared to drop anything to help someone in their hour of need.

It takes time to establish good friendships and true friends can stay with you for life - look back to your childhood and ask yourself how many of your friends are still around? Probably not very many, if any at all, and for the ones that remain are they truly a friend or just someone you know? The same can be said for the workplace, changing from one job to another alters your social circle, people come and go.

When friends are involved with a partner it can alter the dynamics of a relationship for all parties. For instance a wife may be jealous of her husband's friendship with another woman. Similarly, a same-sex friend may feel pushed out when marriage comes into the equation. Divorce also alters the dynamics because partners have joint friends and this creates a question of loyalty. True friends would work around any changes, friends are meant to be there for each other no matter what - they just need to adjust.

type=text
type=text

Trust and understanding

Seeing eye to eye

To share your intimacies with another could not be possible without trust. Friendship is largely built upon trust. Trust is something you should give without questioning or expecting reward, but needs to be earned in return - you know when you can really trust someone, your instinct will tell you.

Real friends are honest with each other. Honesty doesn't always mean putting your friend on a pedestal, but being able to tell them directly when you disagree with something they have said or done. A real friend in return would value your honesty, even if a little shocked that you don't hold the same view. Friends keep you grounded.

Allowing your friend to hold a different opinion is healthy because it shows a greater acceptance of their differing personality. When friends fail to see eye to eye in a situation, often it marks the end of the relationship. Disagreements affect everyone at some point, but true friends are able to rise above it and simply beg to differ. This is forgiveness.

type=text
type=text

Real friends need to 'exist'

Friendship has many facets, more than are written here, and as mentioned earlier your friendship with one person would differ to that with another. Virtual friends in cyberspace cannot offer the level of understanding to one another that physical friends - people you have met with, are capable of. Save virtual friends for general chit-chat but not your greatest secrets. Providing there are good, solid foundations in a relationship such as intimacy, reliability, flexibility, trust, honesty and forgiveness, and regardless of whether you have one special friend or five really good ones, then you can expect it to last you a lifetime.

Just one more thing..... - please leave a comment before you go.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens! I think real friends are really rare nowadays but I am happy to say that I have a few friends that I can count on no matter what!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana

      I think it is better to have just a few friends and good ones then zillions of friends who can not listen to you for five minutes.

    • christopherlee lm profile image

      christopherlee lm 

      7 years ago

      Nice Len Marcia. thanks for sharing.

    • Marciajane profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcia 

      8 years ago from England

      I really appreciate you dropping by and commenting on my lens - thankyou so much and I'm glad you liked it.

    • Northbright profile image

      Norbert Isles 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on friendship. I value friendship so much no matter where or how it comes about. In friendship the intuition of the heart guides me well. I love your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      I found your article on friends interesting for obvious reasons. Friendship is important and it can come in many different forms. I find people fascinating and I enjoy these different levels of friendship. It is an interesting thing to think about.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)