How to Tell Who Your Real Friends Are

How does one distinguish between genuine friends and casual relationships in this era? 10 years ago, you could host a party or life event and dictate who a friend was based on who decided to show up. You might even create a list of people you’d feel comfortable contacting in case you had to move or had an emergency.

Nowadays with COVID and the continued burgeoning of virtual relationships, it’s become a little harder to discern who is really your true friends are. A lot of people my age don't even feel like they have any good friends. An alarming statistics from August 2019, revealed that 27% of millennials felt they didn't have any “close” friends (NY Post, 2019). Even if that’s the case, it’s important to realize it now so you can start building deeper friendships and perhaps nurturing fewer surface encounters.

There’s a surefire way to do that nowadays and it involves significantly altering the way you interact with social media.

Either delete or unfollow most people on your social media. If you decide not to delete social entirely because you use it for business purposes or have groups or pages that you rely on, it’s ok, just simply stop posting and unfollow most people you friend on the social media platforms you use. Don't worry, you can always follow them back when you end this experiment!

Here’s the trick though. People will notice. There are some transactional friends who “like” your stuff and you “‘like” theirs. They probably won't reach out though. The people who genuinely care and are most likely friends will reach out though. They will want to know what's going on with you and what you’re up to. They might miss your posts or communicate with you. A simple but pretty dependable guard rail: If you are texting or messaging each other in 2020, you’re friends!

Friends will contact you. Either through Messenger, text, or DMs.

It works. If you are willing to lay low for just a little while, you can effectively summon the intrigue of those who actually care. It may sound childish but it’s worth it. It’s even more childish to stay concerned with the little dopamine hit you get from “likes” from people you barely know and fear what may come of losing that. Those who are stuck in that rut really need to try this, but it can impactful for just about anyone these days.

Honestly, what do you have to lose? It’s 2020! As if this year wasn't enough of a test on relationships, perform this simple experiment, and know who to devote your time to when all this blows over!

Writer and guinea pig behind the Worst Runner. Experimenting with running and life.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store