Friends

Hello dear reader(s)!

What is a friend to you?  Here is the dictionary definition:

friend
frend/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Now, I am not so sure I 100% agree with that definition, but I think it is pretty close.  My best friend is my wife.  We break that “exclusive of sexual or family relations” bit.  (Not that we are blood family, but we are definitely family now.)  And we do have sexual relations, with that woman, (not Ms. Lewinsky.)

The first part, however, is spot on.  Especially with my non-wife friends.

Early today I did a small Facebook purge.  Why?  I felt the people did not really know me anymore, and we lacked a bond of mutual affection.  Now, I have a lot of friends I haven’t seen in years, and some of those friends have changed quite a bit since I regularly spent any time with them.  And of course, I am definitely not the same person I was when we would hang out more often.  But there remains that bond of mutual affection and I feel that they know me, even as we have changed.

So, I went through and purged anyone I didn’t really have anything in common with, or anything outside of some positive memories from when we were both different people.  I don’t hate these people or anything, and I hope they are not offended, I just don’t see eye-to-eye on anything they have to say, they disagree with everything I have to say, and they will not have a rational discussion once they have left an irrational opinion.

But writing this blog-type-thing is not about friendship.  It is (increasingly) about express my point of view.  I welcome discussion and disagreements, as long as it is an actual discussion, and when challenged, is respected.  This is my blog-type-thing, in fact, all my social media pages are my creation, so if I allow you on it I expect you to be respectful, even if you disagree.  That can be anything from not using hate speech on my posts, to not accusing me of trying to draw someone into something when they comment on one of my posts.

As I’ve said before, I write for me.  If I have 500 total followers, or if I have 2 followers, I write for me.  This is who I am, I will not be fake to appeal to the group sensibilities.  Why bother writing if you are only going to fit in the box people are happy with?  Sometimes I call people out.  Sometimes, I expect to get called out.  Which is great, as long as I am being called out with anything other than a personal attack, or what I like to call a hit-and-run.

For those of you don’t know, a hit-and-run in the intertubes web world-wide word, is when someone leaves an opinion in your comments, and when you try to challenge said opinion, they decide they can’t be drawn into the discussion they started.  I think I would rather be personally insulted, than to be made to deal with that level of cowardice on my blog-type-thing.

I DO have some blogging friends.  I also have some blogging acquaintances who I admire for their thoughts, art, and/or writing.  Then I have bloggers who occasionally comment that I KNOW I would not get along with, or who I know I would disagree with on almost every single issue…but I respect them, and they show me respect.  I follow the blogs of people I consistently disagree with, but read because the person struggling underneath seems like he/she is trying to do what they believe is right, and is respectful and reasoned enough to make their points interesting, no matter my opinion on the foundation of those posts.

I would never go onto someone’s blog and say, “This is why you are wrong, and don’t talk to me about it again.”  I would never go onto someone’s blog and tell them, “You are a stupid _____.”

It doesn’t mean I have never thought it.  I just choose to show respect on other people’s creations.  If they are looking for a debate, I will engage, but I will do so as a debater, not an arguer.

And if I think someone is a stupid idiot enough times, whether it be on the pressed words or the book of faces, I have a simple little tool always at my disposal.  I can get the fuck off their page.

Just like you can do to mine if you don’t like it.

Thank you to all my friends, both real and virtual, and all of my acquaintances who continue to read my drivel; and engage in respectful dialogue about the things that interest me, you, or should be discussed even if we would all rather tune out some times.

What is your idea of friendship, both personal and online?

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

10 thoughts on “Friends”

  1. I think friendship, online or otherwise, is when you make a connection with someone and begin to care about them. Not in some abstract way, but on a level where you share personal feelings. For me, friendship means I can read you or hang out with you and take a while to get sick of you, probably agreeing more often that not. Really good friends can do it longer. Best friends can do it day after day for years.
    I don’t know anyone with whom I share all the same values or opinions. I think my world would be small and dull if I did.
    As I get older, values seem to be the winning factor.
    I’m not inclined to attack opinions. I do now and again, and when I do, I realize “I dunno why I’m friends with this person anymore” and I move them to my Restricted group on FB or I unfollow them elsewhere. In real life, I tend to just become less accessible until their desire to see me ends. I find it much easier in real life.
    I don’t share your opinion on everything, but I still like to hear what you have to say, as it helps me understand where you’re coming from. You can’t see where a person is coming from if you jump his shit and accuse him of being wrong and stupid and start ALL CAPPING OVER HIM 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said, but CAPS ARE FUN!!!! Hahaha! And yes, I don’t agree with anyone always ever either, but I have to have at least some agreement as the people I choose to associate with, either on their POV, their perspective, and their abilities. What defines my ability totally friends with someone is when we do inevitably disagree, they come at it from an open mind.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Anyone who will share their bud with me is someone I would call a friend. 😀 Seriously, there are many levels of friendship, and I wouldn’t know how to categorize them all. To me, that term comes with expectations, and I find mine are usually too high. So, live and let live. Each to her own. And all that jazz.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I doubt I’ll be unfriending anyone on FB, but I sure as heck am unfollowing their updates. All of this “ain’t no racism” mess is just…irritating, to put it mildly.

    But as for what a friend is, I like what Joey said. It’s all about making that connection and getting each other for me. My real-life best friend and I have so little in common on the surface that it’s amazing that we’re friends, but dig a little deeper and we both have the same sense of humor and just click in so many ways.

    Like

  4. Excellent post. And you’re right. Friendship – whether online or otherwise – is all based on mutual respect. You don’t have to agree with friends’ opinions and views, but in order for it to be an actual “friendship” there has to be respect there. Well said, Josh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmm friendship ….hmm I find real life ones are different than online because my friends and I have common things we enjoy doing together . Now acquaintances are people I know but do not necessarily want to do things with other than do a wave and how are you tyoe thing. I do have some friends that I may only see once a year or even two but have known for years and years and we can pick up where we left off. Online friends are ones I can chat with learn from and continue to get to know. I am ok with agreeing to disagree cuz I can learn from that. If I feel a blogger person is not someone I want to read or connect with I would then choose to move on. A little of this, a littke of that

    Liked by 1 person

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