Best Friends vs. Facebook Friends - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Islander Times News

Best Friends vs. Facebook Friends

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Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 8:37 am

Students take with them from high school the bits of knowledge they’ve managed to retain, experiences both horrific and amazing and, if they’re fortunate, best friends gained through these experiences. Especially in Coronado, these best friends can be traced back to middle and elementary school and some even earlier. They’re there in the times of desperation, excitement, depression and every other emotional flux that high school brings. They stick out our “awkward stages” and join us in the challenges of adolescence. Because of this, friendships made in high school should be some of the most important and enduring of our lives. But, why is it then that these best friends often slowly slip into oblivion once the next chapter is started? I blame social media.

With Facebook, Instagram and Twitter playing a monumental role in adolescent interaction, is it possible that social media has in turn made us antisocial? These helpful mediums keep us updated on the lives of our family, friends, peers and the thousand other people that we don’t remember ever meeting. They’ve made us lazy. We don’t need to ask each other how we spent the holiday if we saw vacation pictures on our Facebook newsfeeds.

Generally, one of the pros given to social media is its ability to keep people connected after they’ve separated. I disagree. It’s hindered our ability to stay connected with old friends because social media allows us to see what’s going on in their lives without any literal human contact. Go back just ten years to when these sites didn’t exist. To figure out what was going on in a friend’s life we had to reach out to the person and, wait for it, ask.

Nowadays, a college student can follow his high school friend on Instagram and see he’s gotten a girlfriend or chosen a fraternity. “Well, cool,” he’d think and then go on with his new life. Upon coming home from college and being asked by parents how so and so is, I fear that students will look immediately to social media for the answers. It tricks us into thinking that we know how the person is doing. Have you really “stayed in touch” if your only interactions have been through the online stalking that is so common these days?

Some friendships endure and remain as strong as they were in high school. It takes effort and time but the sacrifices are worth keeping close the people who mattered so much to you. However, I guarantee that some of the seniors who, at the moment, can embrace each other in the hallways as friends will feel awkward calling each other up in five years. I look around at my peers and am so thankful for the years in high school that have brought us closer than ever. But at the same time, I fear losing some of them to this social media laziness. High school is only one small chapter in the novel that makes up our lives and with each new chapter, new experiences and new friends are gained, but we should still make the effort to truly connect with old friends. So, I urge seniors to make a point of seeing, calling or texting high school friends as much as possible. Don’t assume they are busy or have moved on because their profile picture shows them with a group of new friends. Overcoming the social media laziness can only ensure that these friends you’ve loved throughout your high school years remain people you can call up anytime during life.

When staying in touch, I believe it’s imperative that social media be the most insignificant medium through which we operate. If the laziness takes over, you’d be surprised how quickly a best friend can become just another Facebook friend.

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