Friends or Acquaintances

You’ve got dozens of them on Facebook and a bunch of other ‘networking’ sites and applications … but are they really friends?

A great post today from Seth Godin titled “That guy who saved my life” defining the difference between true friends and the ‘friends’ we seem to collect online.

I would have to admit that there are many people who I’ve only ever ‘met’ online who I consider as friends. They’re the sort of people that I’d love to sit down with at a local cafe to enjoy a coffee and a couple of hours chatting. I like to think that there’s a sense of connection that comes out of sharing part of our lives online.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of those friends through blogger meetups and while travelling. I’ve been more than pleased to catch up with a few bloggers who have been visiting Perth and it was great to meet some bloggers in Sydney and Melbourne when we were there about 18 months ago. In fact, one of my major dissapointments of that holiday was that there were a couple of people whose schedules meant that we never got to meet face to face.

Having said that, I understand what Seth is saying and that there will always be those who are closer as friends than others. I suppose we sometimes need to put our friendships in perspective and ensure that those close to us in the ‘real world’ aren’t missing out on our time.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Hi there Rodney, long time since I have seen or chatted to you.
    Heres a question I battle with everyday. I could be generalising here too; Why do single friends phone and come over your place every weekend and then once they get married, you never hear from them again.

    Like what happened to our friendship/mateship. Does marriage make life too busy? Does your partner refuse you to still have your single friends? I find this weird. Anybody that can share their thoughts and help me on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Steve

  • Interesting topic, Steve. I might have to write a post about this one and get a wider response.

    Relationships certainly change after marriage. I know that in some relationships one or the other partner will ‘forbid’ their other half from getting together with some of their friends. I’d hate to be in such a relationship. I would never dictate such things to Pauline and she would never dictate such things to me.

    I think it’s right that a greater emphasis is placed onto building the marriage partnership than on other friendships. Things can’t remain the same forever. On the other hand I think it’s wrong to become so insular in a marriage relationship that you break long term friendships. Even married couples need to remain as part of a wider community.

    Friendships are based on a lot of things – shared interests – proximity etc

    I think marriage does change your interests somewhat. A single person will often have different interests to a married person.

    As for proximity, Pauline and I are now living across the other side of the city from where we used to live so there are many people, both married and single, that we no longer see as often.

    I’d also have to say that it’s not all down to the marrieds. It goes both ways. A number of our single friends stopped staying in touch after we married. While scheduling is sometimes an issue we’ve never said ‘no’ to an invitation to get together with a single friend.

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