Do you remember when your friends were counted on your hands and only meant the people you saw at a semiannual occurrence? Chances are if you remember that time then you still have a great deal of desire to have friends around you. It seems odd to me that people are less and less capable of having or even desiring“IRL” (In Real LIFE) friends.
I grew up in the 90’s and what a great time it was to grow up. Don’t come at me, the music in the 90’s was the best ever and since. We didn’t have cell phones so guess what, our parents did not know where we were every moment. However, they knew safety in numbers and chances are if you grew up in the 90’s you had a “crew/group/posse/gang”. At any given time at any given place there were at least four of us together. I don’t really remember a time past the age of 13 that I was alone. In fact, the year I was 13 I become friends with my best friend, my ride or die. We would be inseparable for the next 17 years, then I fell in love and moved to the top of the country while she was at the very bottom. That was a huge heart break.
(Me with incredible friends over the years)
With the move brought another form of loneliness. I had only one friend for about a year and he was my boyfriend, and at times my best friend. Honestly I do not know what I would have done without him. He supplied me with calmness, love, and friendship. Then for the second time in my life I had a crew, but the difference was this crew were church friends. We all attended the same church and most of us believed and practiced the same kind of living. My friends were my everything to a fault almost. My boyfriend/ fiancé at the time would get mad at me in regards to how friend oriented I was. I will tell you a secret: I am a social butterfly. I love parties! I love throwing parties, entertaining, and just making people happy in my presence. So, for almost 7 years I lived in a new way of life with friends that made me happier than I had ever been. I felt a part of something. Feeling a part of something makes life worth everything I thought.
As things do, life changes. Almost every year I lived in NY, a friend was married and ultimately we all coupled up and married off. Then job changes, schedules, spouses, and just the stress of growing up caused us to start seeing each other less and less. Then my ex cheated on me and before that I had hurt my back and could not plan parties any more. I made a huge mistake and told my friends about my marriage. Then my husband found out I told our friends and a combination of the two we would slowly do less and less until it was once a year, we saw them. I had made lots of mistakes at this point and my friends were pretty upset at me as well as upset at my husband. This lonely period of time is when I turned my focus online. I made an Instagram account and began my quest to get into social media as an occupation. That was 2016. In 2018 I left my husband and moved near Boston.
That first year, September 2018, I met several people here locally. I went to lunch, a meet, and I had a handful of people come over to my house. Then before you know it 2020 happened. COVID. Covid put a stop to every ounce of socialness I had. It wasn’t bad enough we had to be stuck alone. I didn’t even know that many people locally to just relate with. I turned heavily to the internet, and my account grew and grew.
The title of this blog is a toss to how some people still believe social media should just be for social needs. Truth is I don’t even get on social media any more unless it is for me to work. It has become a place of frustration, and as my account grew it got more and more complicated to go on and connect with friends.
The up side and the down side wrapped in one is, when you meet and connect online it seems the friendships are quickly made and you feel like you have known someone your entire life. Except you haven’t. Then soon the talking, texting, facetime slows down and you’re wondering WHAT HAVE I DONE. It’s like the excitement fades and they move on to the next person. Another issue with making friends online is the popularity aspect. They think you are bigger than you are and by being friends with you, you will help them out. When they find out I am just plain ole me and that they will get nothing but me and my friendship to offer they are gone.
When people come to me and say, ‘You have so many friends,’ it is like a sword going in and being pulled back out. I do try to make everyone my friend and I do love people easily but having a OLR (Online Relationship) leaves you wanting or desiring IRL relationships with an even bigger passion. I have some OLR that are my life line. These ladies and gentlemen have seen me through hell and back. They have been near and dear to me and watched me fight to regain my life. These relationships make me want IRL relationships with all these people so badly. So, while I may not have IRL friends nor do I have 80,000 friends, I do have a good handful of people that make my life a better place. IRL OR OLR I’m still blessed.
The one thing I will say about OLR versus IRL is you have to decide which OLR has the potential to be an IRL relationship. Once you do that, you have to put the hand out and if it is refused then you know to stop trying so hard. I recently decided that this would be the last year I blind send Christmas cards. I will make a list of who returns the cards out of 98 that I sent and those will be the people I return cards to each year. I have grown tired of trying to make relationships last with people that do not feel the same about me. One can only leave their heart out on the line for so long till it breaks. We here at findingevie are about self-care and self-preservation. I am telling you those friendships that you have you are single handedly containing on your own. Some are just not worth it. Live your life and I promise if the people are worthy of you, they will keep coming up and around. You are worth friendships that pamper you and not just you pampering them.
xoxo – Evie