Real friends VS fake relationships and the disappointment we face.

Genuine friends are very difficult to find as you age. My close school friend sadly died of heart failure in his sleep with his girlfriend at twenty one. He also had a small hole in his heart. We all new this at school, and it was long before the medical solutions they could offer today. He was drinking heavy and she woke up to find him lifeless and his young life ended prematurely.

He was the friend you knew everything about, I stayed at his house regularly and we were inseparable at school. Micheal Sullivan, “Sully” was a good guy and was the sole child of two exmilitary parents. Mr and Mrs Sullivan treated me like a second son. I had other friends however, he was the one I really understand and was devastated to here of his death. Me in year 7/8

This text book was part of my undergraduate studies and talks here about the importance of friends as we grow up.

‘Drawing from Sullivan’s work, researchers have, for decades, investigated the development, function, and consequences of close friendships during childhood and adolescence.They have found that the sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings does, in fact, increases from childhood to adolescence (Azmitia, Ittel, & Brent, 2006 ), that adolescent girls are more likely to have intimate same-sex friendships than adolescent boys, and that such relationships provide a wide array of social, emotional, academic, and cognitive benefits (see Rubin, Bukowski, & Laursen, 2009 for a review). Intimate (e.g., self-disclosing) and supportive friendships, for example, are associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms (Pelkonen et al., 2003 ) and higher levels of self-esteem (Berndt, 2004 ; Nangle & Erdley, 2001 ; Rubin, Bukowski, & Laursen, 2009 ; Way & Greene, 2006 ). A lack of close friendships, furthermore, is associated with high levels of depressive symptoms, internalizing problems, and peer victimization (Ladd & Troop-Gordon, 2003 ). In one study, a lack of close friends at age 16 predicted depressive symptoms at age 22, over and above previous levels of depressed mood (Pelkonen et al., 2003 ). The quality of close friendships, in sum, varies by age and gender and influences the emotional and social well-being of children, adolescents, and emerging adults. ‘

Adolescence and Beyond Family Processes and Development EDITED BY PAT R I C I A K . K E R I G M A R C S . S C H U L Z AND S T U A R T T. H A U S E R

P. 92

The issue today that concerns me is the overwhelming thought that kids value fake social media friends. They measure the opinions so much that it caused harm and poor mental health. The world has become so impersonal on so many levels. We truly don’t need to see people much at all theses days. Banking, shopping even occupations are all done remotely. Sadly remote friendships are not working for us, particularly young people.

The outcomes from this lack of real human interaction will be poor mental health and shorter lives. Of course, this is only Scott’s opinion, nevertheless, having adult children and experiencing the levels of the anxieties they and their friends are dealing with offers some insight into the changes, good and bad.

Friends are important in our lives and having close ones is not easy, but good for us to maintain. My social media accounts are LinkedIn, and Facebook. LinkedIn has about eight hundred people who I mostly don’t know at all, a hand full of them I have worked with or studied with. Mind you, if the account closed today, I have to confess I would not miss it.

My Facebook account has nearly fifty people who are close family and friends. This will not grow much, I had a Facebook account once with five thousand and it drove me crazy to the point I cancelled it years ago now.

Some days I question why I even bother with any social media? I always conclude, I recognize some amazing people and the articles are fascinating. My real life friendships, which is not many,  offer me all the real life human face to face connections that make me feel human still. Social media to me, more like my connection to what is happing around the world. Taking people seriously on social media to me is like believing everything you see on TV. Ironically, I don’t what Tv but like a great movie.

World press is different of course, it’s a huge community, however, operating quiet different in terms of social media. Firstly it’s about writing not really socialising. We converse at times, but generally about our writing in terms of questioning or congratulations on quality. Nobody cares how many people you know on here. I guess if you are marketing a new book or selling things numbers count. Social media has its pit falls if taken to seriously or used obsessively at the expense of real life relationships. I believe people are waking up, including the younger ones slowly. Humans are very adaptive creatures and might be slow at times but I think social media is and will lose traction on many levels over the next few years.

Great Buddhist advice on living!

As the lotus

is unsmeared by water & mud,

so the sage, an exponent of peace, without greed, is unsmeared

by sensuality & the world.

Sutta Nipata 4.9

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