Do you have a feeling that the value of true friendships is getting lost in today’s society? I do.
It seems that whatever aspect of current society we take, it is based on fakeness and superficiality.
Corrupt politicians pretend to care about the well-being of the population. Shallow influencers become the role models of today by talking nonsense and making a fool of themselves. Narcissistic celebrities use charities as marketing tools to promote themselves and get more attention.
I guess it has always been this way, but today we see this ever-consuming fakeness in all its glory thanks to social media. Consumerism also plays a crucial role in this. It has distorted our perception of life in so many ways.
So let’s talk about the reasons why true friendships are becoming rarer and rarer in our society.
1. Treating one another as objects is normal
The consumer mindset doesn’t affect our perception of things alone. It is not only about the abundance of goods in the market and the countless options to choose from.
This consumer attitude has been ingrained in our minds to such an extent that we also regard one another as objects of consumption. This is what could explain why so many people today view friendships and relationships from a ‘give and take’ perspective.
“I’m looking for a person who…”, “I need a friend who…”, “My future husband must be…”, “I want my partner to…”
Some people’s relationship and friendship expectations look like a long grocery list of ‘I want’s and ‘I need’s. But what about “I’m willing to…” and “I’m ready to…”? Few are those who are also willing to do something for others. Many seem to only know what they expect and require.
It looks like it has become normal to care about the gains and benefits of being friends with someone rather than having a meaningful connection with another person. What kind of friendship can arise from this mindset? Only fake and shallow one.
2. Being nice is more important than being real
The desire to be liked and accepted is pretty natural, but social media has taken it to a new level. It has ceased to be just a natural human need and has turned into an addiction.
What can we see on Facebook or Instagram? Countless profiles full of perfect faces that don’t exist, beautiful feelings that are faked, and soulful words that are not meant.
This urge to look perfect has sneaked into our personal lives too. It seems that the most important thing in interpersonal relationships is to look like a nice person. Not to be one, but to look like one.
Smile at others (even if you secretly hate them), have friendly chitchat (even if you don’t care about the person you are talking to), say nice things (even if you don’t mean them).
Blunt people who are not afraid to speak the truth and call things by their names are mocked as intolerant and insensitive. We are all expected to sugar-coat our words. But there is a huge difference between being genuinely kind and just pretending to be nice.
3. Lasting and meaningful connections with other people are no longer valued
Not only does the consumer society subtly lead us to take advantage of other people, but it also doesn’t teach us to value them.
70 years ago, if your fridge suddenly broke down, your first thought would be to have it repaired. Today, you will most likely just go and get yourself a new one.
But what does buying a new fridge have to do with friendships? More than it seems.
We may not even realize it, but this view of objects has more power on our perception than we could imagine. This approach plants an idea into our subconscious minds that things and people are not to be valued because they can be easily replaced.
Being accustomed to abundance, we live in the illusion that if things go wrong, we can always get ourselves something new. A new friend, a new partner, a new soulmate.
But the problem is that human relationships don’t work this way. Sometimes you need to work it out and “repair” your relationship or friendship rather than quit and move on to the next one.
To sum up
When you think about all this, you get the feeling that our society is moving further and further away from the truth and genuine human values.
It seems that the meaning of true friendships and lasting relationships is getting lost day after day, and we can do very little about it. The only thing we can do is stick with our moral code and cultivate meaningful connections in our lives.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree that true friendships are rare in today’s world?
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This Post Has 9 Comments
Excellent Writing Anna! Social media has changed so much over the last 5+ years. It seems it’s the “All about me” Culture nowadays. My biggest rock has been the True Friend or an Acquaintance thing. For the better part of my life, I thought many that came across my path were friends. The Majority were only Acquaintances.
The truth is that true friendships have been more rare and precious than the crown jewel of the English queen; since humans started walking the earth! If you ever find one, be prepared to pay their weight in gold to keep them! We might have to settle for the BEST we can find and afford. Like anything else!
As far as “Bad Friends” and the pretenders, be very careful, since they can harm you without measure! The 3 points you mentioned are true but, really are additions to many other unfortunate reasons.
Here are a just a few more, in our generatiin:
*Lack of spirituality in our lives
*All kind of Entertainment venues not designed to teach values and character traits to say the least!
Good luck to us!
Great article, but just one thing, bluntness had to be tempered. Truthfullness can also be expressed in different ways, so as not to hurt people, ie, being too blunt and insensitive for real.
Great article Anna, you are right many among us and especially z younger generations do forget about z real values of a true and long lasting friendship.
For myself I’m having few real friends, we also use social media like most amoung us, but with z difference we so often we can also meet each other in real life, we can truthly count on each other aswell in difficult and good moments in life. And most important we keep each others little secrets enjoy of each others good moments as we feel sorry for z less good moments of what life giving us.
True long lasting friendships base are being honest with each other, yeah we aren’t afraid to say it when we’re disagree on something, what is important in those kind of friendship is really listening to each other and helping each other out with good advise when needed, wanting z best for z other one without envy but with happiness in z heart for them. Being pressent sharing z great aswell z less good moments of what life giving us, standing up for each other if needed.
A long-lasting true friendship might be indeed a real blessing and life saving in our today’s social media life .
On the other hand while you think of keeping a relationship you will find out for having a better lif e you have to work on people around you because even their pure and real smile will effect to your life … And for having a happy life in a society you must have positive and happy people around you
Hi there, well I agree that the disposable society: capitalism ! has affected the way we relate to each other. Individualism as a dogma has been taken on way too far, that’s for sure.
But having some sort of grid in order to choose whom you value enough to be close to you, is more than necessary, it is a a must. The qualities and values that are held, make a person worth while for me and for a lot of people still. So yes, we have to have some form of discrimination that are not based on status, money or looks, or sexual habits even (sick), but on deeper aspects of who we are, like sincerity, honesty, loyalty, care, reliability…etc…
Ok, I’m going to stick my toe into this conversation. When I make mistakes in how I refer to a person, it is not meant as an insult, I just can’t keep up with all the current language to describe groups of people I have somehow always been aware of existing, but just wasn’t that concerned. I am a Generation X I believe. I was born in ’65. That makes me an old one. The year before was the last of the Boomers.
I am saddened to see that those I believe are younger than me by quite a few years feel so… not hopeful for the future. I know things are different, more challenging, changing faster exponentially. But we must regain the ethics that I was raised with. Those were conveyed in sayings like “Use things, value people.” and other such positive stuff. But the funny thing is, as archaic as I thought those values were back then, I think they are exactly what we need so much more of today.
This was a great read, one that brought to light a serious issue we face as a society as far as its direction and overall health. It brings into the open how it’s easier to put on a front and involve oneself with others without actually engaging with them in order to retain that identity of how we view ourselves without conflict or breaks. Being an introvert, I find it easier to see how others perform these acts because of how I think in-depth about not just what I say and how I say it but the meaning and breadth of what I hear from the mouths of others. I’m lucky in that I still have two of my closest friends from thirty years ago and how we still view each other in the same warming way, we meat up once a week for coffee and laughs talking about just these types of subjects.
Thank you for your effort in so eloquently addressing these issues. 😉
Nobody is willing to accept that our relationship with other human being is purely on the bases of loss and profit. Being introvert is the best thing happen to me/you in this world cherish this and live on.