One billion users and counting – that's some group chat. But is it really bringing us closer together?
Those hen dos, overnight stays and new outfits all add up.
TV channel Lifetime recently commissioned a survey on this very subject and discovered that millions of Britons 'can't stand' their friends because they're too high maintenance or have no shared interests. It's hardly surprising when we reflect that many of the people we spend time with are there through circumstance or accident.
At first they are there for you but then they slowly fade away. They stop liking your social media posts or acknowledging your messages. You wonder what you've done wrong, you thought they were forever-friends but listen to me, you haven't done wrong. You just aren't convenient anymore.
The fact is, you have kids, and a husband, and a job, and a life of your own. You can't possibly please everyone in your circle, and if a needy friend is crossing the line, you have every right to dump her. After all, healthy friendships are based on give and take. When one party is all "take" and the other is all "give", the relationship is toxic.
When you have a baby your whole life changes, it's overwhelming and exhausting and amazing all at once. Some people want to retreat and process that privately but a lot of people want to know that they aren't on their own, that their friends and wider family still care for them and are there for them to celebrate and support them. Mamas want to feel loved, and to feel that their baby is loved.
Friends. We all need them. They help us get through life! Without them, our existence itself would falter and grind to a halt. Socialising and communicating with others is something we do to survive. Having friends allow us to talk about our feelings, concerns and passions. We thrive from being around others. Without friends we would find ourselves isolated which could lead to depression and sometimes even suicide.
This was not a stand-alone situation though. This friend is notoriously late all the time and their pathetic punctuality was particularly pronounced this day. I should have known better but like most people, I try to see past it rather than come down on said person like a barrage of bricks. But one time, two times, three times, finish. NEXT!
Yes, we're all individuals, but we can't escape the inextricable truth that we're social beings too. The relationships and connections we create and maintain with those around us are intimately bound to who we are, who we become and, importantly, how we see ourselves.
How do you comfort someone whose world is in the process of spinning off its axis? You want to be supportive but when you open your mouth you realise you have NO IDEA what to say so just blurt something out and hope for the best but worry the whole drive home that you offended them.