When I was in high school, I knew who my friends were. I knew who my close friends were, and I knew who my enemies were. I was acutely aware of the shifting social lines that connected all of us, and so I was never confused as to who were my true friends. But now, as it turns out, every single person in my high school class is my friend. In fact, every single person that went to my high school at the same time as I did is also my friend. Actually, every single person that ever went to my high school at all is probably my friend. What a lot of friends I have! And I had no idea at the time!
If I have ever been in a show with you, or worked with you in an office, or met you at a party, you are my friend. If you go to my church, or had me as a student, or are related to someone I know, you are my friend. If I look at my Facebook list of “friends,” it has become to clear to me that friend does not mean what I think it means. Friend means any person with whom I have ever had any sort of contact, either direct of peripherally. Friends are people online who I have never met. Friends are potential business contacts. Friends are weird, half-dressed ladies that want to me click on their links and/or buy something from them. Friends are no longer the people I am closest to that I feel a connection with. We need a new word.
When the language you use no longer means what you need it to express, it is time for a new word to be created or substituted. I don’t know what that word is, because I still use that archaic word “friend.” Do you? What do you call people that are your closest associates and most trusted confidants? BFFs? Homies? Your posse? If there is already another word out there that I can assimilate into my vocabulary without any additional work, please let me know! Otherwise I am going to have to create one. Like blefk. And I really don’t want to have to do that. I look forward to reading your suggestions in the comments. Thanks, friends.