True friendships

I don't really remember how I ended up thinking about the friends I have, the meaning of true friendship and the contrast with online interactions

Today I stumbled upon a video based on a series called “The Four Loves”, by the man himself C. S. Lewis. In this case, he focuses on “Philia” or Friendship. The video was done by CSLewisDoodle, a channel that adds drawings and helps illustrate the ideas shared in a great way.

I have a huge respect for Lewis, and I didn’t even know he actually had such material available. Turns out, he was part of quite a few radio shows where he shared his thoughts on multiple topics, so I’ll probably listen to some of them soon, the channel already has a huge compilation for me to watch.

The video is great, I don’t really feel capable of explaining his ideas here, so I recommend you to watch it for yourself. Despite being recorded in 1958, I do believe it holds up quite well for today’s standards, and the video quality is also top notch, the drawings are a perfect complement for what’s being said.

Friendships online are quite different from real life, I wonder how many people I’ve talked to due to this blog or just in other communities that I am a part of I could consider a friend. I, as well as many others, feel pressured to call someone a friend simply because you don’t dislike someone, or enjoy talking with them. But just because you have some ideas in common and are willing to trust someone in someway it doesn’t really mean that you are friends, but simply a companion or part of a group.

I had “friends” in a lot of communities before, be it playing Monster Hunter online for hours, playing Clash of Clans and doing wars together, studying with classmates after school was over, participating in speedcubing competitions with fellow… speedcubers, the list can go on. But I can’t really go ahead and start a chat right now with any of those people. At least not without discomfort. And even if I did, the conversation would probably die out pretty quickly. Maybe its due to me being introverted, but I believe its only natural.

We might have shared an interest (or many) for a while, but I never took the time to know the personality of anyone, and neither did them. We didn’t actually share a friendship, but were simply enjoying a moment in time were our interests aligned or our goals were similar, even needing each other to accomplish them or to enjoy the journey even further.

Of course, friendships don’t need to last a lifetime, they are so volatile, they don’t really need a commitment, there is not real jealousy either (when compared to Eros (sexual love) or Storge (family bonds), and yet, there is affection. True friendships have become so misunderstood today that I think its fair to say most of us can count true friends with a single hand.

Its such a weird thing. If you were to ask me who is my best friend, I truly don’t know who would I name, or how many, if there are any. Its not about knowing everything about a person, no need to know their family or job, but well, I don’t know, I guess its about getting to know their personality, their soul. Be able to stay by their side, not because of commitment or convenience, but because you care for them.

During the time I’ve been part of the Linux and FOSS community, I have had the pleasure of knowing new people and even starting some meaningful conversations with a few of them, but I wonder if I’ll really be able to keep in touch with them for 5 years. I sure wish to maybe be friends with some people in here, after all Proverbs 18:24 says:

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

I wonder if its possible to stick so close to someone purely based on online interactions, its already hard doing it in real life. I guess I should ask who is my friend in a Facebook post or something…

Anyways, too much introspection for today. This has been day 99 of #100DaysToOffload, watch the video! It’s really worth it.


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