I've tried to start this blog post many times and always end up reverting back to my 'first things first' and then get trapped with Iggy Izalea's 'I'm so fancy' stuck in my head - sorry about that.
Remember back to when you're a youngster at school, it seemed so easy to make friends didn't it. You'd bond over having the same pencil case or how neat your handwriting was - or because you are plonked in a seat onto a table full of strangers - and self confidence wasn't an issue back then - you just chat shit all day to your new table friends about having baked beans and smiley faces for dinner the night before.
You'd link arms on the first day and practice cartwheels together on the grass. You'd arrange to meet by the science block after music because you played different instruments so were in different rooms and you actually did meet there. On.The. Dot.
You'd soon end up joining in with the break time bulldog game that happened every day without fail - no whatsapp group chat needed to schedule this bad boy.
It's not like that as you get older and more often than not, those school day friendships you had have long gone, unless you're really, really lucky and you never moved house.
Through the 'power' of social media, I'm still connected with some of my classmates from 2002, yet it's not the same relationship. The amount of them I've met up with after hitting the friend request or accept request button: zero. My longest standing friendship, of whom I see regularly still, is 11 years (oh hey, Emma!) following that it's seven where about 90% of my other friendship circle sits ... and one of those is my husband!
Yeah, we sometimes like each others life events and leave the occasional comment but that's the extent of those relationships that made us who we were when we were young. Those friends you couldn't bear spending a day without talking to. Those friends whose houses you'd go to for dinner or sleepovers. Those friends who you just had to talk to on MSN messenger the second you got home because you still had SO MUCH to talk about.
Those friends that have become dwindling memories of your past existence when the working world started to chew you up and swallow all of your spare time and freedom.
It's not as easy making friends in the modern world, especially when you've levelled up and began your career where your weekends are more precious than wasting a day on your bedroom floor playing dream phone. You have a house to clean, a pet to walk and probably don't want to blow all your hard earned cash on a night out because, bills.
I spent my late teens partying four nights a week - I've been there and done that and it's a similar story in terms of those friendships. The girls I used to throw shapes with at weekends are now, separately, sharing their stories via little squares on Instagram. I follow along and see their lives unfold intermittently - yet I know them less than ever before.
Social media has taken away the natural connection between humans and added a very impersonal way to validate someone by giving them a double tap or a thumbs up. Theres no requirement to talk anymore because 'I saw it on the gram'. I can't be the only one who has said to someone 'Oh yeah, I saw that on your stories!', can I?
And that's why forming friendships when you're adulting is so difficult.
It's easy to form an online relationship but where do we go from there? It's become scary to talk to someone IRL - or there's the worry that people are going to think you're extremely weird, but why? That's how it was done before. It's now such a big deal to ask someone to go for coffee even though you've been liking their pics for the past three years.
There's light at the end of a status update though! Social media has given a new way to make ACTUAL friends as opposed to 'online friends'. But no-one really does it...
Recently, I asked three girls who I've followed for a while and thought I'd get along with, based on their Instagram profiles, and sure enough, they all said yes. I wasn't scared or worried about it at all and I've now got three new friends out of it.
I formed these relationships by asking them to lunch or if they'd like to grab a coffee and now I see them regularly AND they make the effort back too. We chat daily and it's like we're school kids again. It's exciting and makes me feel happier than any amount of likes ever could. I'm proud that I was brave enough to ask and to meet up with these amazing, lovely ladies.
It didn't even cross my mind that they might say no. They may well have done, they may have even ignored me but I know that in this digital day in age, it's the bravery we're lacking to take it a step further. I clearly got fed up of continuous online 'friendships' and missed the emotional connection you build face to face.
Now, I've got dates booked in the diary for dinners, drinks and shopping trips and that's so much better than wondering when I might next chat to them via direct message after I reacted to their latest story.
P.S: I have NO idea is this makes any sense - when I started writing this post I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to be about but then it just get going. If anything I hope to inspire people to just ask someone out for a coffee :)