The best friend is one of my favorite characters in any love story. A good sidekick can act as a confidante or an advisor, provide a shoulder to cry on or a swift kick in the pants, serve as comic relief or sentimental foil.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t live on a deserted island. Last I looked around, there were a lot of other humans on my beach. I’m the main character in my life story, but in other people’s my role becomes friend. I strive to live up to that title. Some days I do better than others. (Nobody’s perfect!)
I love to stay in touch with my friends. Sometimes I use traditional methods like meeting in person, making phone calls, or writing letters (yes-handwritten and inserted into an addressed envelope with a postage stamp). I also use modern technology including email, texts, social media posts, and face-time.
Have you noticed that online friends tend to cluster into posting types? See if you recognize yourself or someone close to you in these groups.
The party poster
This friend is all social, all the time. Updates and posts center on parties, events, and nights at the bar.
You’re this type of friend if your most of your pictures feature plates of food, restaurant reviews, or links to recipes.
Funny memes, amusing videos, links to hysterical animal videos…you know who you are.
The Sentimental Softy
These posts feature sweet family pictures, uplifting human interest stories, holiday decorating suggestions, or animal rescue themes. They can be sweet, sigh-worthy, and heart-touching (or rending).
The Passionate Activist
You’re always sure where these friends stand on an issue. Whether their causes are centered around politics, animal welfare, social justice, or the environment, they declare their position loudly (and often). My kids said they dropped some of these friends during the last presidential election.
The Sports Fanatic
This friend might play sports or follow sports. Their posts involve a LOT of athletic chatter-think ESPN or FS1 or face paint.
But that’s not all…
Although I’m having fun with this list, it’s not comprehensive. There are so many more.
- The parent-all pictures and posts involve the kids, first steps, birthday parties, academic and sport awards.
- The chain letter groupie-sorry, but I’ll never forward that bet-you-won’t share-this-photo, or take that personality quiz, no matter how much I like you.
- The followed-these aren’t really friends, but celebrities, corporations, media outlets, or favorite authors, actors, and athletes.
- The oversharer-those who don’t seem to worry about how to manage privacy settings. Their Candy Crush scores or Farmville animal requests appear during work hours. Aren’t you supposed to be working? Did you know that would show in your feed?
It’s not that I dislike my friend’s posts. On the contrary, I love to keep up with their lives and interests. How else would I stay in contact with distant family members, watch friend’s children grow up, or experience the amazing places people visit?
My friends expand my world. I hope they feel the same when I share my experiences. Since most of my relatives live far away, they’d never be able to see my beautiful new patio planter, or hear about the exciting finish to the Seattle Seahawk’s football game.
I suppose we’ve always had these different types of friends. It’s just easier to typecast them now. Like the beloved characters in novels, they deepen and enrich our lives. Sure, they can occasionally be annoying, but my story wouldn’t be the same without them.
Do you have a social media category to add? Share in the comments. (Please keep it rated PG!)