Ruminations on Facebook Friendship and ‘Wall’ Decorators



There are gripes about how Facebook has turned ‘to friend’ into a verb and within the social media land, it’s become a passive act. I don’t know about surveys or studies being conducted by reputed universities on the fallacies of Facebook friendship. So, one can’t say that my simple ruminations provide greatest insight about social networking. If I ask myself: ‘what’s Facebook?’ the answer would waver between ‘playground for narcissists, trolls’ to ‘ sharing of ideas’ to ‘meeting place for like-minded individuals’. Yes, the answer differs based upon the acquaintances I have made. A ‘friend’ is important in all our lives. It used to mean old school or college mates or supportive colleagues, but now it also includes complete strangers. Yes, some of these strangers turn out to have great, humble heart & mind with whom we can develop friendship, in the truest sense.  But, still the word ‘Facebook friend’ or ‘social media friend’ isn’t devoid of its flimsiest nature.

Are we confusing acquaintance with that of friendship? We have plenty of acquaintances in our day-to-day physical life. To be truthful acquaintances (at least for me) are just some passersby. We know them and express a hint of sympathy when something bad has happened in their life and go on totally forget about this person. In social media, superficiality is added to acquaintances, and voila! They have become close friends. Of course, not every friendship in the digital scape is superficial. I have certainly gained quite a few friends, known only through social media, with whom I happen to engage in deep, profound talks. People might say that your Facebook friends won’t empathize with you when you are facing a crisis in real life. To which I want to say, ‘even friends we meet often, sometimes don’t care what the heck happens to us. So, why lament over the numbness of a Facebook friend?’

I have just 200+ friends in Facebook and at least 170 persons I have met in real life or had a face-to-face conversation. But, apart from the strangers who had transformed into a good friend, there are quite a few people who share the same tag ‘friend’. Sometimes I used to wonder why I accepted the ‘friend requests’. I would certainly have a reason to send ‘friend requests’ or accept them (like the ones who share my passionate love for cinema). Nevertheless, when I sent a simple ‘hi’ to this stranger on ‘fb friends’ list, more often than not , there would be no reply. The ones who reply would feel reluctant to chat with a complete stranger. Yes, it is understandable to feel reluctant to chat with a complete stranger. But then all I want to ask is ‘why the hell do you send or accept friend requests?’ (I don’t think any person who is constantly using Facebook is busy all the time). I am eager to add some great persons with a busy social life as a ‘friend’ to just gain knowledge from the things they share. But most of the social media patrons think they have a cracked the key to a fulfilling life by sending ‘friend requests’ in all directions.


It’s like a competition where they think someone would say ‘Oh God! Look at the no. of Facebook friends! What a great life, heart &mind this guy/girl should have’. At times, I think that there’s an answer to why people send or accept friend requests from complete strangers without caring who they are or what they do. May be it’s all about gaining the ‘likes’ or promoting something.  I often hear that people are driven to jealousy and depression by Facebook friend’s bragging about his/her awesome life. It is so stupid to feel depressed over such a trivial thing. As I said Facebook is the recreation spot for narcissists, who masquerade their lousy parts of life and only embellish the charming aspects of life. Everyone on this planet must have felt the tedium of the routine life. So, it’s abominable to feel jealous over someone’s decorated ‘wall’. And, I’d humbly ask the narcissists or the ones who feel a craving need to take dozen selfies a day or the ones who feel the constant need to even update their ‘feelings’: to not put out a twisted mirror image of your life (you might be even doing it unconsciously). True nihilist, Tyler Durden of “Fight Club” would simply say: “You are not your selfies. You are not your check-ins. You are not the facebook-induced thoughts. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world” (of course, it is their life and they are free to do whatever they want).

Yes, I do believe that social media connection could result in meaningful friendship and true sharing of ideas, but we should be aware of crossing a thin line and not get trapped among the circus of social media, which is riddled with jugglers of different kind.


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  • Super Arun Kumar…… it’s like that dialogue in Social Network… “it’s really awesome except, it’s freakishly addictive. Seriously, I’m on the thing like five times a day.” Sometimes you feel that in few cases this addiction takes to a different level… like comparing the likes and friends count and followers…. and feeling depressed over it……. we (at-least many of us) always fall for the trends that surround us whether we like it or not…. as you have mentioned about Awareness, this is one cure from such addictions….

    • Yes, awareness is the first step. I won’t deny that there is an allure in gaining likes and followers, but we should be aware of the point it becomes an addiction. Even falling for the trends have taken different turns. Now to be trendy in social media includes the activity of posting RIP message for some celebrity whom a person never before heard in their lives.

  • Great read as usual. Plethora of ideas.
    Human beings have been raised as much on the basic necessities as the need to socialize and be appreciated. It has come to my realization that socialization and the dire need for appreciation have become basic necessities in themselves. The former keep the physicality alive and the latter serve to nourish the mentality. Sartre believed that Existence precedes essence. Because if you cease to exist, how can you create an essence out of your existence? Taking this issue into cogitative delineation, our very basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter have remained indispensable to our existence. We negate our existence or any thoughts of thereof, should we deny ourselves these basic necessities. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. To be healthy means to preserve the physicality to indulge in the mentality.
    However, of late, the technological machinations and hyper-rationality of existence have tremendously amplified the importance of socialization and appreciation and have brought these two concrete yet discrete concepts into the picture and have united them in a matrimonial. Over a period of time, their marriage has yielded the progeny of narcissism, trolling, shaming, publicizing, promotion, and meaningless friendships. The maliciousness of a dysfunctional family parented by socialization and appreciation in this way has served to abuse the humanity and rob people of their freedom. Our need to survive is more focussed in nourishing our mentality than the physicality. We dabble in meaningless conversations initiated by pointless friendships which serve no greater use. They in fact do us more harm than good.
    The perils of such pointless friendships and our over-indulgence in these social networking sites has rendered us communicatively impotent. We do not talk about feelings anymore. We have a “wall” for us, which commends a respect, appreciation, and value that seems to surpass that of passport. It is as if these walls define and validate our existence. Our over-dependence on these walls to look for solutions and sympathies permeate into our actual friendships. We are patronizing disgusting graffitis on these walls and color them with our feelings, emotions and selfies. No doubt they look beautiful on these walls, but the agony is that the “wall” now becomes an actual wall that separates us from the reality. We use this wall to express ourselves while failing to grasp the crucial idea that we are also distancing ourselves from the rest with this wall too. We reinforce these walls and make them stronger than our will to break them down. So irrational and superficial have we become that all we care about is how many “likes” or “shares” our “feelings” get on these walls rather than finding a true meaning in doing such trivialities.
    Having said that, our absurdity in finding a meaning this way serendipitously does reward us with meaningful friendships as well. Yet, our superficiality bleeds ignorance as we begin to treat such valuable gifts of serendipity as mere grat

    • Wow! What a comment Kartik. You have offered a great food for thought. Yes, in our pursuit of socialization and friendship, we have made the basic human feeling into a triviality and the trivialities make its way into our heart and mind as if its the real human experience. Actually i feel my article itself is less elucidating than your thoughtful comment.

    • I could brood over the topic after I read your thoughtful ruminations! Thank you for the wonderful article.

  • Ramya Abhinand

    Agree with you that acquintances have probably turned into friends..Thanks to the world of social media..In the world of blogging and influencer marketing this is called networking. You are right, in the fact that it is more for promoting. But i guess thats the way social media has evolved. One either accepts it or stays away from it entirely.

    I wonder what ever happened to the actual concept of “friends”

  • What happens when the fb life is as existentially disquieting and lonely as the real one where even the one with one million likes has to take a dump?