How To (Not) Pick (The Wrong) Friends
“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is often deemed by teens as an overused saying by their parents. Understandably. Let’s face it, anything that sounds cliché coming out of our parents’ mouths goes right into the back of our stubborn heads. This is until we actually come face to face with the verification of those clichés. You’re more likely to experience these encounters later in life (upon entering college I realized how many clicked with me just only this year). And, you guessed it, “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is one of them.
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a likely chance you’re a millennial. If not a millennial, then likely one generation below (all the different titles confuse me-basically, you were probably born after the year 2000). That also means there’s a great chance you go on social media too much. Not groundbreaking stuff here. We all know that social media generates everything under the sun for us. Dissatisfaction with ourselves. FOMO. Poor communication skills. It distracts us. Makes us superficial. I could go on.
The number one falseness of social media I’ve learned this year is: its distortion of reality and inauthenticity- particularly in regard to the topic of “friends.” Day after day we scroll through our Instagram feed and only dream of being friends with so-and-so. Both “famous” people and ones we go to school with. So many people seem perfect (yes, I know that is a strong word) on social media in every aspect. Not just in looks, but in personality too, which is why it’s only natural for others to want to be their friend. Let me tell you… I’ve learned that basing your friends off of their social media is an extremely poor way to choose them.
It’s okay to aspire to have as much fun as a group seemingly has or be as happy as they seem to be. BUT, do not compare your current friend group to another.
Now, I’m not degrading social media and its power to make friends- I think it’s an incredible way to go about meeting people. However, I think that as millennials sometimes we get too enviable of what we see on it and block out the people currently in our life or have the potential to be in our life. By comparing the party you’re at to the Instagram post Sarah Smith just posted (a fictitious name btw), you’re pulling yourself out of the present moment at the party, not immersing yourself in the full experience, and consequently not enjoying it. All for what reason? Because you think Sarah’s party is better? Well, guess what? Her party has absolutely no relevance to yours, right?
Just constantly remind yourself that there’s a pretty damn good chance what goes on behind that picture is the opposite of what’s being portrayed.
Sometimes we aspire for too much in life, in general, but specifically when it comes to friends. We constantly strive to have the idealized group of friends both on and off social media… even though that is not the case for anyone.
Try your hardest to be content with where you’re at. In all aspects of life obviously, and specifically when it comes to friends. Always make an effort to make new ones and talk to new people, but don’t kill yourself over not having that clique your entire high school simultaneously is scared of but secretly wants to be. (Do those even exist anymore?)
That friend from middle school you drifted apart from? You guys have so much to reminisce on! That girl in environmental club who is at every single event? What a freakin’ awesome person to be friends with! That person a grade below you who always compliments your style? Strike up a longer convo with her!
There’s the chance to meet someone new every time you step outside. Take advantage of that. Initially meeting someone in person is bound to turn into a sincerer, deep-rooted relationship as opposed to meeting online- which was likely developed out of superficiality and personal appearance.
Stay open minded to picking friends, talk to more people in real life, and stop comparing to what you see on social media. Love you guys.