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Q.

Today when so many people we barely know are friends on our social networking sites, I've started feeling that we use the word `friend` in general terms, referring to anyone we meet online or in the train, work with, go to school with, are neighbors with, or even study in the same class with...WHICH MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE. I think friend cannot be a generalized word used to describe classmates, colleagues, or contacts. One who is not a friend doesnt necessarily have to be an enemy. But not everyone we are civil to and in good terms with is a friend.

Your Comments Please.

Tags: friends, terms, today
Asked by prashant sharma, 10 Dec '09 07:12 pm
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Answers (10)

 
1.

I too have this feeling nagging in my mind, but then what will we call our simple acquaintance? There is no word, probably in any language, for a simple acquaintance.... In our day-to-day life we even call people, even strangers, 'brother' or 'sister', or 'uncle/aunty'. In my opinion there is nothing in using just a nomenclature for a short-term or long-term relations. By just calling sister or brother, a stranger will never become our relative (of course exemptions are there). A relation or friendship should blossom with mutual care, affection, attention and many such vital ingredients, nourishments. The closeness, the sincerity should be revealed through our close interactions. And most of the cases we do have nick or pet names for our close friends, which will distinguish him/her from other ordinary friends. Even if such names are not there, our interactions will be natural, sincere from the core of our heart, which could be easily distinguishable. There is nothing in calling a pers ...more
Answered by Muktha Radhakrishnan, 11 Dec '09 01:27 pm

 
  
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2.

I agree. I have always maintained that I am friendly but have very few friends. Friends are ppl we depend on for emotional support, reciprocate care and love....and the rest are just people we interact socially. In virtual world it is easy to distinguish the two....I may have 100 friends in my friend list out of which i may actually be friends with just a handful the rest cud be the ppl i enjoy interacting ...sharing less information than the ppl who are emotionally closer. Even in real life....we may have two groups...one with whom we share a closer bond and wish to spend more time with them and the other who are just in Hi, hello terms....and are not friends in a traditional sense. In a virtual world, the number of firends on ur facebook account reflects ur popularity although u may be an introvert in real life and hardly have any friends.....as time goes, a friend is someone who shares a common platform....like we say here....anyone in rediff Q&A is a friend...although we really ...more
Answered by sumitha, 11 Dec '09 05:03 pm

 
  
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3.

Yes Prashant, the word ' Friend' is used in a generalized form in the virtual world. Even here in rediff Q&A there is this Friends List which I find very silly and superfluous. I have some members in my Friends list with whom I hardly interact. I interact more with some members who are not on my Friends List. And we hardly feel the need to add one another as Friends as long as we are interacting. Weren't we all going along fine in the earlier format without being friends in theory? Friends are those special people who are in our hearts and there is nothing practical or theoretical about them. We have an emotional boding with them which is much above a Friends List.
Answered by Mitali Choudhury, 11 Dec '09 04:10 pm

 
  
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4.

..defination of
noun
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5. (initial capital letter) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

..so go ahead, have no qualms in calling somebody who is assisting you by answering your questions a friend.
Answered by M H Kisan, 12 Dec '09 08:55 am

 
  
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5.

Hi Prashant,we go through different course of life.Each time ,from childhood days, we come across some special people who win our Heart ,whom we call our Friends. As years passby,we wont be able to maintain Friendship as life take differnt course each time.Even if we try hard,Dost kabhi choot jaati he. With broken Hearts we get departed.I still remember my childhood friends but they have become extinct relations now as I dont know where they are ,But when I browse through my memories.a tear gets collected in the corner of my eyes which never falls down.The same case happens with friends of our youth, college etc. With option of, career ,marriage,change of residence ,country, etc different priorities of life , we fail or become inefficient to maintain friendship with same intensity. Sometimes Friends,who get carried away with different life chores, forget us to say even a Hi or Hello.This is realty of life and we get adapted to it .Here in in this Social networking ,also same is the cas ...more
Answered by Rachana, 11 Dec '09 02:32 pm

 
  
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6.

You are correct. Friends is just a sophisticated way of saying the acqueintence as part of Eastern culture. You would find that they won't even refer to someone by name, if they know the spouse. It would be bhaabhiji or Bhai Saheb etc.
Answered by manish varma, 11 Dec '09 02:32 pm

 
  
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7.

Well...u can call all others as acquaintances...n me only as friend...if it suits u..:)))))))))))))))
Answered by sumita ganguly, 11 Dec '09 01:27 pm

 
  
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8.

What makes you uncomfortable is your own level of emotions,your expectations that is innate as a social being,people can't be equal emotionally ..kisi ko friend kahne me koi problem nahi but when u involve yourself into emotionally in any relationship then there might be problem.The degree of friendship with a classmate at school will be different than the degree of friendship with a other online contacts ..here your general term becomes balloon...bingo:))
Answered by himanshu sharma, 10 Dec '09 11:22 pm

 
  
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9.

Agreed..they are better termed as acquaintances, friends are strictly friends, its good to widen the circle of friends but diminishing the circle itself is not such a good idea, it undermines our tastes or just signifies complete absence of taste..but still if it is coming from someone whos high enough not to get encircled in a circle, friendship with all is not such a bad idea..
Answered by bobo, 10 Dec '09 07:34 pm

 
  
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10.

It is much better than explaining she is my brother's brothers in law's sister in law's neighbor's sister, she had to come to meet my son when we can easily say she is my friend. we don't need to give expanations to everyone. you said it right one who is not friend needn't be taken as an enemy and all those termed friends are mostly our colleagues, relatives, classmates, neighbours, companions or even the great golden love quadrilateral.
Answered by Social Worker, 10 Dec '09 07:25 pm

 
  
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