General Question

jonsblond's avatar

Do you think childhood and high school friendships have a better chance of lasting a lifetime now with the existence of Facebook and other forms of social networking sites?

Asked by jonsblond (38132 points ) December 13th, 2011

My husband and I have been telling our youngest son that his best friends will be those he meets in college and later in life, not those he went to high school with.

But has this changed now that we have Facebook and other social networking sites? I’m beginning to wonder if our advice is a little outdated.

Thoughts?

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19 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I do think that facebook helps stay in touch, and high school friends might have more communication than we did 20 years ago. But, I still think college is where the longest lasting friendships will be.

My parents each have close friends they went to jr. high and high school with though. They have college friends also, well, my dad does, because he lived with them. My mom commuted to college and didn’t make as strong a bond with anyone.

janbb's avatar

I have friends from many different parts of my life – one of my best friends is from nursery school! I don’t know if FAcebook really enhances intimacy although it may help you keep apprised of superficialities of people’s lives

john65pennington's avatar

I believe your theory is completely incorrect. It has worked both ways for my wife and I.

Class reunions use to keep us in touch with our high school and college friends.

Now, we have a bonus with Facebook, to locate other friends that did not attend the reunions.

Your son is fortunate to have been born in this time period, the Age of Communication.

If Facebook continues to exist, then locating his school friends will be just a touch of his key pad.

Mariah's avatar

I have heard that advice before, but I do think things have changed. Not necessarily because of Facebook – how much real communication actually occurs on Facebook? – but because of cell phones. My mom says when she was in college, if she wanted to communicate with a friend, she had to write a letter or call long distance. Being such a hassle, she only kept in touch with her very best friend. On the other hand, I am able to easily regularly talk to as many friends as I want, so I have kept in contact with several from high school.

I met my best friend when I was 3, and I have trouble picturing becoming as close to anybody I meet next year.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Hard to say. I have definitely reconnected with old friends from high school, through Facebook (and older social networking sites), and great friendships have flourished.
However, I’ve also reconnected with childhood friends, and there was never that “spark” again.

At the same time, I’m almost 30, and I met my best friend when I was 13.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Probably, although most will become more “acquaintences” rather than friends… people you say hi to, but not much else. I think the proportion of friends to everyone else will remain about the same as it is now, but we’ll have LOTS more acquaintences.

Coloma's avatar

No.
All relationships are subject to change, flux, depending on the parties involved.
Facebook may lend itself to an easier and more easily “managed,” stay in touch on a casual basis opportunity, but I don’t see it making any real difference in how long any friendship/relationship lasts.
I deleted my FB account after about a year, I found it boring and a stage for those that feel the need to chronicle every little thing in their daily lives.
Do I care that you have gotten new cabinets, do I need to see 40 pictures of your kitchen remodel? No.

I had 17 friends on my friends list, all of whom are real life friends/aquaintances, I think the 250+ “friends” thing is a joke!
One person I know had an astounding 800 and something ” friends.”
Gimme a break!
I’m not interested in keeping a harem of casual aquaintences, I’m a quality vs. quantity type and think it is insincere and shallow to “collect” hundreds of people and call them “friends.”

The great Facebook bag of potato chip “friends.” lol

marinelife's avatar

Not necessarily. Real life still counts for a lot.

Nolefan's avatar

I completely disagree with the assertion that the dynamic has changed in that way. In fact, I think it has changed the OTHER way.

Before the advent of Facebook, you had to keep in touch via telephone, or hanging out, or seeing each other after extended periods. Now, you have the sense that you are keeping in touch by being Facebook friends. You take your older friends for granted that you don’t see every day, and grow closer to the people you see in college.

Facebook is good for two things. 1. Keeping yourself informed about people you otherwise wouldn’t see, and 2. To act as a social catalyst to make plans, find activities, and stimuli in real life, and not cyberspace. Real stimuli is much more meaningful, which means that the simple Facebook friends from High School get less “Meaningful” attention.

I’d say that Facebook has caused us young people as a society to have a lot more acquaintances, but a lot fewer (but STRONGER) friends.

Again, that is just an opinion,

Coloma's avatar

@Nolefan

I agree 100%.
Welcome to fluther!

Way more stimulating here than the FB crowd. lol

MrItty's avatar

I think contact has a better chance of being maintained. I don’t think the actual friendship aspect of the relationship is any better off.

Sunny2's avatar

It depends on what kind of a friend it is. There are some friends that are friends because you see them at school or work. When that period of time is over, you may have little in common. Face book will keep those friends informed about what’s going on (perhaps more than you would wish). Friends with whom you have a deep bond will keep in touch, but Face book or e-mail will make it easier to keep the common wave length between you alive.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes. I have elementary schoolmates I would love to find, would have loved to keep up with over the years and also a few high school ones.

zenvelo's avatar

There are people I am friend with on Facebook that I went with to high school. But I wasnot their friends in high school, and if Facebook was around then I doubt I would have “friended” them.

The separation from people when I left for college and after actually made the discovery of them on Facebook much more fun.

I watch my kids interact with Facebook, and I think they just feel included in the scuttlebutt, but not better friends with anyone.

plethora's avatar

I think Facebook is an exercise in cataloging acquaintances….and now, much more importantly, an advertising medium.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I’ve heard that advice before, but I don’t find it to always be true. My closest friends I have met personally are mostly people I met in High School and I’m not in High School any longer. I think that Facebook can help strengthen friendships, but it’s not the only thing that can. Facebook can also result in people drifting apart, just as other things can.

bostonbeliever's avatar

I would say that yes, it makes it easier to stay in touch with high school friends, so it is easier to maintain old friendships. However, generally speaking, I think college friends will still become greater friends than high school friends. The amount of time, the experiences you share, are all so much greater in college: you become adults together.
Ultimately, it’s all up to you. If you want to stay friends with someone, you’ll put in the effort to keep it going, Facebook or no. Back in the day there were still: phones and gasp letters! You could write a letter to someone, and crazily enough they’d write a letter back, and it worked!

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Mattbell's avatar

No it is not outdated many people especially youths are spending hours on facebook and social sites but never achieve a reral friendship and in so hardly speaking to friends they grew up wiith then eventually losing contact although they are right there on the screen in glorious colour, it all just depends on individual in question butg yeah the best friends i have are all from college and further eductaional expo’s, in addition to making friends from the workplace so i think your advice is spot on.

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