Recently, I was talking to a person who I met right before I started this project. I only met him a couple of times and we spoke very little in person, but over the course of the month we have spoken a lot. When asked if he would consider me a friend he said maybe and then followed that up with he had not doubt that we would be friends after this project ends.
He and I chatted a little about how we feel that our “friendship” is similar to how well you’d know someone if you only knew them through their facebook profile. I explained that I would call him a friend because I have talked to him more then my “real friends” this month and that I feel like have gotten to know him, but he doesn’t think that’s enough and I would agree. I really don’t know anything about him except for trivial things and he said the same about me.
The reason why we are having a hard time defining our relationship comes down to one thing for me, physical interaction. There is something about being in someone’s physical presence that makes you feel more connected to that person.
Another person that I have meet this month, I have shared a lot of personal information with. Based on our conversations, you would think that we are very close, but yet we have just met. Again, there is definitely something still missing. We don’t know how to define our relationship either, but we know that we will be friends when we are able to met in person.
In contrast, a friend that I have known for a year feels our friendship is closer because we have been video chatting a lot this month. He doesn’t think we would have been as close are we are if I wasn’t doing this project. This is because it’s rare that he sits down to talk to someone one-on-one like we have. For him, it works because we had already established the physical connection. For me, I still want more, but that could very well be because I don’t have any physical interaction with anyone. We both recognize that the senses are a very big part of how we connection with someone when we first meet them. It could be the smell, sound, touch, or the ability to see someone three dimensionally, but the senses play a very big role.
There has been a lot of emphasis put on the word friend this month. Which makes me wonder how we define that and if we need to redefine it for our current times. So I looked up the definition online:
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
I was surprised at my own reaction. I read this and I thought, maybe we are just forgetting that there are multiple ways to define friend? After all there are adjectives that we can attach to the word, i.e. best, close, etc. So maybe those friends that aren’t really friends could still fit in the category if we think of them as supporters, etc.? The way that we are interacting with people is changing so maybe we need to adjust they way we think about the word.