Streaks Are How We Measure Friendship In The Age of Social Media

Streaks Are How We Measure Friendship In The Age of Social Media

It's okay to disconnect.

We live in an ultra-connected world: between the speed of technology and the ever-present stream of content from social media, it is difficult to ever really be alone. Texting, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook—even email—are all platforms on which we are always reachable. Modern technology has totally altered communication--it is so easy in today’s world to stay in touch with friends and family, no matter the distance.

The flip side of living in a world in which we are always reachable, however, is that we are EXPECTED to always be reachable. The challenges of friendship have changed; severing a streak on snapchat is akin to breaking a promise. Miss a text or turn your phone off for a couple of hours and suddenly people assume you’re ignoring them. This change in attitude isn’t the fault of any one individual.

It’s just how it is.

Social media has become so ingrained in our everyday lives that many of us have unknowingly accepted these new ‘rules’ of friendship. We apologize if we don’t see a text for a few hours. The first thing many of us do when we wake up (including myself) is check our phones. We participate in continuous group-chats, we snapchat daily, we document the everyday occurrences of our lives on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et cetera, et cetera.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—I am not anti-social media. I love being able to talk to my friends away at other colleges. Half of my family lives on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean—I want to stay up-to-date on their lives and accomplishments. I share plenty of pictures and updates on various social medias. I do believe, though, that this significant societal change begs the question: how do we deal with it?

How do we adjust our attitudes towards friendship in a world where alone time doesn’t really exist? How do we gauge what an authentic friendship is? What is the limit?

The answer is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It is up to us to set our own boundaries; we have a right to object to these unspoken rules of modern-day society. Friendship is not a contract that requires us to check in with every important person in our lives daily; real friends do not just disappear overnight. Choosing to take a break from social media or even deleting it should not be the equivalent of ‘going off the grid’ or refusing to adapt to a technology-driven world.

We have a right to demand alone time; we should be able to disconnect when we so choose. Taking time to recharge our social battery makes actual real-life interactions much more enjoyable. That is only possible if we are really, truly alone. Social media was designed to facilitate communication and make seeing friends easier; it is not meant to be a replacement for legitimate relationships.

A real friend is one that exists in the tangible world as well as the digital one.

Cover Image Credit: Jean Jullien

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10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough

Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit

You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast

Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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