Friends are the important part of our life. The internet is full of posts and pictures and forwarded messages preaching the importance of friendships. Come to think of it, despite all these messages and forwards sounding a little corny, they might actually have some truth to them afterВall. As of today, we live in a world growing at the fastest rate known to mankind. In this era where speed is the norm, it is hard to keep up with the world. Sometimes, you need something to hold on to, in order for you to not slip and fall. And that is where you need a friend. Everyone has a family, yes. Well, at least most of us do. But friendships are very different from family bonds. There are quite a few salient features of friendships that make them what they are and so very indispensable to human existence. Read more:
Even though our lives are now removed from simple ecological pressures, thereБs still that power dynamic and social navigation going on, just for different specific reasons.
But the basic reason is still the same: you want information and access to resources. ItБs maybe not the most satisfying answer, but the basic take-home message is that we make friends because it gets us something. We know this definitively because lonely people are more likely to die and to have heart disease; and there are all the reward chemicals in our brains that are like, БThis feels good. Keep doing this. Б If you put somebody in a room and make them do some horrible task like public speaking and their friend is there, their heart rate doesnБt go up as much. That signals that your friends are getting you something if their presence in the room is comforting.
IБve moved around quite a bit, being an academic, and have always felt that when I move to a new town, even after IБm settled with a place to live and started my job, until IБve made some friends and have those people I can call on Б like, if IБve lost my keys Б I feel a baseline level of stress is always there. I turn to long-distance friends for certain things, like if I got dumped, or if my cat died. Friends abroad are awesome, but they canБt possibly do anything about the day-to-day stuff. ItБs fun, as modern people, to think about friendship, because our lives are so weird, and we do move abroad and live away from family. High school is like a training ground for the fact that youБre about to leave your family, go off to college or start a job, maybe live in your own place, and suddenly youБre surrounded by strangers, and you really need friends to play some of those family roles.
You go into a friendship frenzy during that time because you need to reestablish relationships youБve lost because your social situation has changed so much. It could also be because youБre broadening your social circle because you want to have a [romantic] partner, a job, and find out all the cool information about like, what club to go to, what restaurantБs good, all that. YouБre trying to establish social roots [during] a moment in time when all of that is incredibly important, and when you donБt really have any of it. The role that friends play becomes really obvious. Like, I need these people to feel part of this society, to feel I can make my own way and cope with even small challenges, like having the flu.