Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Social media can not replace traditional socializing entirely


What is friendship today? Does logging onto Facebook and seeing that you have ‘x’ amount friends make you feel popular? Maybe, but what small percentage of those are close friends that you would want to go have lunch with?

I think the saying “quality not quantity” applies for friendships. Sometimes you might find yourself hanging out with many friends at the same time, and you don’t necessarily hang out with any of them one-on-one.

That is fine because you know them in a group dynamic; however I believe that it’s also important for both everyone to have strong one-on-one friendships in order to have others to confide in and to know they have their back. I have best friends who I love to hang out with. When we talk, we can easily tell each other everything because we are so close. We give each other advice on issues, which I value very much. I feel my friend’s opinion is important, so I don’t have to fight a battle alone.

These are the types of friendships that last forever.

After graduating high school, I drifted apart from some of the people I was very close with. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it happens. It’s interesting to me how quickly you learn who your true best friends are. Usually, the ones who you can talk to about anything will stay in your life.

I find that my closest friends are those whose personalities clash with mine or exactly match mine. It’s as if we complete each other, either by finishing off the personality and qualities of what the other person doesn’t have, or by complementing each other’s actions so well that we mesh into one.

I find that in this electronic age, many friendships form over social media. People ‘friend’ other people on Facebook before they even meet them. Many people do this with people they go to the same school with or have mutual friends. These social media sites allow people to see if there’s a chance that you’d get along based on common interests. Some have even found a boyfriend or girlfriend online. A study conducted by the University of Iowa in 2005, found that personality brought people together more than similarities in “attitude, religion and values.” This is not to say that best friends will get married, but you get the idea of how people attract.

The “Evolutionary Psychology” journal found 85.7 percent of participants in the study look for a partner who has their opposite traits, essentially to spice up their life by being different.

After talking to some of my friends I met in college, we decided we would have hung out with each other if we had gone to the same high school.

People tend to interact with those who are most like them, even if they aren’t people who they would necessarily converse with. It’s a comfort-zone thing. We flock to people we feel comfortable around. It is the same in virtually any social setting and shapes our social world.

Psychologists Angela Bahns, of Wellesly College, and Kate Pickett and Christian Crandall of the University of Kansas were interested in how the “social diversity of college influenced the nature of social interaction.” In their study “Social ecology of similarity: Big schools, small schools and social relationships,” Bahns found that “students at the huge state schools spent the most time with people who were much more similar to them than students at the small colleges.” The larger population at state school leads to more options of who to be friends with. You join clubs based on your interests and those people with similar mindsets become your friends.

With so many people to meet at UMass, it is necessary to make the effort to continue to see these individuals, because there are slim chances that you will randomly bump into someone. So don’t be afraid to branch out and talk to someone new.

Karen Podorefsky is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected].

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