The Misconception of Friendship
With the creation of social media, many people are obsessed with follower counts, and many even associate it with success. However, the world is not a popularity contest. When you look at any one of these profiles on a social media platform, you will notice that the number of likes per post is far less than the number of followers. For example, Justin Bieber has 183 million followers, and one of his last 12 posts, the highest number of likes, was 5.6 million. That equates to a ratio of 0306, but we will assume that half of his followers no longer use their account, so we will say .0612. Some will say that my analysis is not an indicator of the perceived notion of friendship as a large portion of his followers do not know him. Still, even during high school, when I had my own Instagram, the average ratio was .25, but we will bump it up to .5 using the same logic as before that half of the accounts are no longer used. That would equate to half of your friends merely being what I would like to call acquaintances. I will explain what that means further, but first, I would like to present you with another example. When examining the article at Prison Legal News, “one out of every eight had their prison sentences reduced in exchange for helping government investigators.” Let’s assume that the number is smaller at 1 out of every ten due to the possibility of some of the snitching being done on individuals who the informant did not know. Now, I would like you to conjure up a list of 10 people you consider your friends and know that there is a high possibility that 1 of those people would have you sent to jail to reduce their sentence.
I say all this to conclude, you must distinguish between an acquaintance and a friend. The million-dollar question is, what is the distinction between the two; I genuinely have no idea. My rule of thumb has always been that you can only trust a person as far as you can toss them. I have never been one to keep my circle of “friends small,” but if you are the opposite, you are likely better off treating them as an acquaintance. Even if your “friend” is someone that you consider your ride or die, the probability that you will never have a falling out can never be said to be 0.