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View Full Version : Is there a difference between friending someone and befriending someone?



parallaxicality
2012-Jan-18, 05:34 PM
What is the social contract one signs when one friends another? What exactly are the expectations? How deep is the connection? I haven't figured that out yet.

jfribrg
2012-Jan-18, 05:59 PM
Re the title: Until recently, I'm not sure that there was a word "friending". Maybe it was in the dictionary, but I didn't see it used much if at all. In the last couple of years, I think that the difference is that friending is something you do on facebook, and befriending is done in personal life.

Re the social contract question, I'll think about it and reply in a bit.

Swift
2012-Jan-18, 06:30 PM
What is the social contract one signs when one friends another? What exactly are the expectations? How deep is the connection? I haven't figured that out yet.
Do you mean "friend" in the traditional sense or in the Facebook sense. I personally use them in much the same manner but I'm old and old-fashioned. I think most people think of a Facebook friend in more the sense that I would describe as an acquaintance.

But even in the traditional sense of "friend" there were variations in deepness of connection and expectations. I've had friends I would give a kidney to, loan any amount of money, and do just about anything for. But there are other friends who I would go to dinner with, or otherwise socialize with, but for who I didn't feel a deeper connection.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-18, 07:19 PM
^^IAWTC, "to friend" is to form an online association while "to befriend" is to form a real-life association. The former seems more superficial and creates few if any interpersonal obligations except to be publicly listed and counted. The latter generally creates some form of obligation of time and effort and sometimes money.

Gillianren
2012-Jan-18, 07:31 PM
So far, I agree with everyone. I have "friended" various people on Facebook to whom I feel no personal obligation. They're people I just didn't care enough to reject when they sent me friend requests. Or cousins whom I haven't met since they were babes-in-arms. But "befriend," the actual word? The obligation I feel toward any one friend is different from the obligation I feel toward every other, because my relationships with them are so varied. But in general, it means I would rather talk to them than just some random person. Or, indeed, than some of my Facebook friends!

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-18, 08:26 PM
Facebook friending is one of those things with multiple meanings, depending on which type of Facebook friend it is (which isn't explicit as Facebook only knows one kind).
It's a vast spectrum where unfriending has meanings going from "I hadn't even noticed he stopped playing that game" to "He's left me so now I'll curl up in a corner until I jump off a cliff".