By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Building a friendship is no less than forming any kind of relationship. While many meet soulmates through friends, there are also people out there who struggle to find genuine friends. Especially in the world of social media, in many instances we come across the ‘friends for benefits’ kind of relationship.
Not everyone that comes into our life has good intentions, but hey! it is also how we turn the table. This Friendship Day, let’s find out how your favourite personalities from the internet are dealing on maintaining authentic friendships in the social media world.
Palak Rathi, Gen Z Finance Content Creator, “Do you know what’s the best thing about social media? Accessibility. Accessibility to literally anyone and everyone. It’s up to us how we use that accessibility – to just network or to actually build meaningful relationships beyond networking. Don’t connect with people only when you need a favour or there’s some work to be discussed but rather keep talking to them once in a while, check on them, appreciate them, celebrate their small victories by maybe reacting to a story or sending them a sweet message or calling them up to congratulate them. While staying connected online is great, whenever and wherever possible – try to meet them in person. Make efforts. Look and build real friendships.
And most importantly – stay genuine and don’t try to be someone who you’re not. Because only then you’ll be able to find people who you can really connect with on a deeper level rather than just likes and comments on the surface level. Talk about your interests, your likings, your struggles (trauma bonding is a thing, haha), your goals – just be yourself and you’ll be surprised to see how it will lead to the start of some extremely meaningful conversations and lifelong friendships. Engage with people whose interests align with you or should I say whose “vibe” matches with you. That will help you make friends and not just connections.”
Adete Dahiya, Gen Z Lifestyle Content Creator, “Whenever we talk about the impact of social media, romantic relationships often take precedence over anything else. But its impact on friendships and other interpersonal relationships is even more profound. Social media has made it so easy to stay in touch with friends and make new ones online – you can just like their photos on Instagram or react with an emoji to their stories, or just drop a short comment on their latest post and you’re done. But the flip side is that it has made it much harder to maintain meaningful connections and bonds. A few things you can do to counteract this is to schedule regular call times with your friends. It is essential to check in, speak to them face to face and get a deeper understanding of what is happening in each others’ lives. If you live in the same city, make it a priority to meet weekly. The key is not to become lazy because of social media but to use it to deepen your connection.”
Reshi Magada, Gen Z Finance Content Creator, “Maintaining meaningful friendships as a Gen Z individual navigating the social media environment needs a balance of virtual relationships and in-person connections. To begin, I value honest communication by being open about my views, feelings, and experiences. Sharing both highs and lows helps friends understand each other better.
Second, I try to engage in real conversations that go beyond likes and comments. I send individual notes, check about their well-being, and show real interest in their life. In this way, I display that I value and care for my friends.
Third, I maintain digital boundaries. To keep my friendships from being superficial, I restrict my screen time and prevent idle scrolling. Instead, I invest in face-to-face interactions and meaningful time spent together, which strengthens the bond.
Finally, keep in mind that social media is a highlight reel, and comparison may stunt true friendships. I create a healthy climate for genuine friendships to grow by appreciating my friends’ wins without feeling envious. Through these methods, I am able to form and retain genuine friendships in the ever-changing social media world.”
Caslynn Qusay Naha, Gen Z Finance Content Creator, “Maintaining authentic friendships in the social media world is crucial as we navigate the digital age. It’s essential to remember that the principles that apply to real-life friendships can also be applied to our online connections.
First and foremost, authenticity is key. Just like in face-to-face interactions, being genuine and true to yourself fosters trust and openness. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences honestly, and encourage your friends to do the same.
Taking the time to actively communicate and stay connected with your friends is vital. Initiate conversations, respond to messages, and participate in online discussions. By showing interest in their lives and making an effort to stay connected, you demonstrate that you value friendship.
Remember, it’s not about the number of friends you have, but the quality of the relationships you build. Be present for your friends, celebrate their successes, offer support in their struggles, and be a positive influence in their lives.
So, maintaining authentic friendships in the social media world is all about being genuine, avoiding comparison, actively communicating, and valuing the quality of your connections over quantity.”