The Commitment Of A Friend



commitment of a friendFriends, those that we cherish, our “go to” people as they know us sometimes better than we know ourselves. They are the ones that we trust and know that they will always tell us what we need to know (well if they are really a friend as this is very different than what we want to hear). Our friends are something special to us as the moments we share are ours and we do not forget them. They are there for the best of times and also the darkest times. Simply hearing their voice is that moment of comfort as we know they were thinking of us and took time away from their hustle and bustle to reach out. In the digital age … friends are a click of a button.

The Commitment of a Friend

Commitment we generally think in terms of relationships. The big moment of “I do.” However, commitment is something we do regularly but do not give much credence to it. The moment we walk into the doors of kindergarten we are committed to being a student, the day we sign up and report for practice of a team or as a member of a club, we are committing to being a member of that team/club (and if you are old school like me, you have to finish the season/semester even if you loathe it). Is this commitment being a friend? If you stick it out, sure it is. You always find someone that shares your sentiment, good or bad. When we commit ourselves to being a part of other people’s lives in a team or social situation, we are committing ourselves to being a friend.

A Friend in the Digital Age

A friend in the digital age is a click of a button. On Twitter we have open access. Follow. Poof, we are instant friends. LinkedIn and Facebook you have to ask permission to be friends but we immediately give the label of a friend. Instant trust. Heck, we trust them so much we are putting out there a conversation for the entire internet to read. But with our really close friends, we hide the conversation on IM or on the telephone. Interesting to think of it this way as the people we really trust and are able to call our closest friends we hide conversations and people we just met, we are throwing it all out there. We flock to the a-listers as if they are this higher power and tell them things that is more than someone you just met should know.

How Committed are Our Click a Button Friends

Our friends in the digital age may not be very committed to us. Marketing Pilgrim examined the data from Outbrain and the most loyal to us were those that found us via search. Now, the data evaluated bounce rates and there could be a very strong argument made that your friends have already visited every page on your website and just come by each day to read the blog. That is a very strong argument but then we have to delve a bit deeper into friends. The click of  button friend, the data shows, is not visiting the other pages on  your website. They are just not that committed. They want to come and see what the fuss Twitter retweets are all about so they come on over. They came, they saw, they opine and they leave. No commitment to you whatsoever.

I am not saying that all click of a button friends are bad or non-committal, no not at all. There are many friendships that were born or are sustained with the click of a button. Margie Clayman and I became friends over a tweet for the love of baseball (ok the awfulness of both of our teams last year but the other way sounds sexier). We have had some of the greatest Saturday afternoon mega talks on the phone. She is my friend that started by the click of a button.

Thoughts? Does this change the way that you will treat your friends?

photo credit: :mrMark: