What is a Friend?


What is a Friend?

Definition:  noun

a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

As someone who typically likes and gets along with most everyone, I tend to use the term friend often. But it’s usually in context of someone I’ve met and interacted with in person.

Yet the other day I was telling my husband a story, and I referred to a person as my blogging friend. And I wondered…when do you start calling someone a friend especially when you’ve only exchanged written words with them? Here in the blogging world, I have not actually met many other blogging women in person. Most of my dealings with this crowd are on blogs, social media or email. Yet I will constantly refer to them as my friends.

So I wondered if I was perhaps improper in throwing out this term? Should we call people we haven’t yet met, but have communicated with in mutual admiration a different title? Or for those who remember the days—it reminds me of third grade and being assigned a pen pal. Maybe I should call these internet buddies “computer pals?”

Because just like voting for a political candidate, what do you really know about someone until you’ve met them and seen how they respond and what their behavior is really like in different situations?

I figured you were the group to ask—-if you’re reading this post, then you too are on the internet, and probably have some of the same interactions.

Do you have a special term for these associations?

I figured it was good timing to pose this question now as I’ll be in part 5 of the Between the Line series tomorrow. It’s the feature on Katherine’s Corner to introduce 50+ aged bloggers to each other. In my mind, this is the perfect opportunity to make more friends (or that other term I should be using) since we all have age & blogging in common!

I’d love to hear your musings on this subject!!! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow—you’ll get to see all three of us in a blooper picture!! Linking with Tuesday Talk, Thursday FavoritesBrilliant Blog PostsSenior Salona little R & R, & Wednesday Showcase

P.S. Yes, that’s me and my bestie in the photo—I’m on the right and it was probably about 1985 or so!

  • Clive

    There’s absolutely no reason to make a distinction between friends you have met face to face and those you’ve interacted with online. The benefits of friendship come in a number of forms, and in my view they are all equally valid. You can form a good impression of someone and get to know them via their online incarnation, and what they say to you can be just as helpful as if they were saying it to your face or on the phone. And if you should ever fall out with them they are much easier to lose than physical friends!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Well that last part made me laugh Clive—-that certainly is an advantage of online friends!!
      Thanks so much for your valuable input!

      • Clive

        Glad to be of service 🙂

  • I count people as friends who encourage and uplift me…I definitely have blogging friends who do just that! I love your question and I’ve chosen this post as one of my featured faves from last week’s Favorite Things Linkup? I will be featuring your post on my Thursday post.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      How nice that you picked my post as a featured fave Shellie!!
      Your point is well taken as part of your definition of a friend—I actually let go of a long time friend a couple years ago because she was such a downer. I realize that it was her personality, and it’s not my job to change that, but I found it so hard to be around her. And life is too short, right?

  • sue

    I started blogging about 15 months ago Jodie and I have been fortunate to make some lovely ‘virtual’ blogging friends all over the world. I would love to meet them in person one day but at least we have technology! Lovely post.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You’re so right that technology makes communication quite easier now. I think we almost take it for granted —it is quite amazing!!
      And can I say that I didn’t realize you’d only been blogging for that short of time? You have so much going on on your blog—-you must never sleep!!

  • Such an interesting question, Jodie!

    I started blogging seven years ago, focusing on healthy living. Most of the bloggers that started at the same time I did aren’t blogging anymore (and I changed my focus for the most part). I still stay in touch with several of them (mostly offline). I wouldn’t consider them all close friends, but I consider them friends. We have virtually supported each other through joys, illness, divorce, and death. I made one very close friend through blogging (she isn’t blogging anymore and is also 15+ years younger than I am).

    I have also met quite a few bloggers “in real life,” not all of them have become close friends, but I have often found that people are very similar in real life to how they are online; I only met up with those who appeared genuine online, and they were genuine offline… 🙂

    I’m really enjoying getting to know you through your blog and comments!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    • Jodie Filogomo

      That is a good point Andrea….people probably are similar online to offline. How they perceive issues, whether they respond with comments…
      And supporting each other doesn’t have to be in person (although a real hug can be very beneficial)—and certainly age really doesn’t matter!
      What I’ve gleamed through this post is the fact that I’m certainly not the only one who calls their blogging buddies “friends.”
      Thanks for being such a good blogging friend—it really makes the journey so worthwhile!!

  • Charlotte Miller

    This is Jodie’s Mom, and I’m lucky if I can claim one best friend. Over the years with different locations and professions, friendships keep changing.

  • This is such a great topic. I do have a tendency to to refer to my bloggy friends as bloggy friends until I meet them in person. Even then sometimes I will continue to refer to them as bloggy friends unless I make a deeper connection.

    I read Sherry’s comment and was really moved by it about best friends. I lost my best friend a couple of years ago and still haven’t truly gotten over it. We were friends for 23 years. She decided she didn’t want to be friends anymore. It hurt me to my core. It has taken me a very long time to realize that she didn’t have the same definition of best friends as I did.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Wow…when you said you lost your friend, I thought you meant she’d passed away. I almost think it’s worse what happened to you—very much like a divorce. I’m really sorry Suzanne.

  • Stevie Turner

    You’re my blogging friend, Jodie! Thanks for introducing me to Katherine’s Corner as well. I’ll definitely hop on over there…

    • Jodie Filogomo

      And back at you, Stevie!!

  • Interesting question, Jodie. I think the fact that we tend to qualify these ‘friends’ by adding the words ‘blogging’ or ‘Facebook’ before them, says that they are different from our ‘real friends’. Or at least, that’s what I mean when I say ‘blogging friend’ or ‘Facebook friend’.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It certainly could be that Corinne. I feel like I tend to qualify my friends to my husband at times, so he’ll know which group they belong to —but I’m not always sure that means they are less than a friend. It all depends, right?
      Thanks so much for commenting and retweeting this—that was so nice!!

  • Amy D. Christensen

    The word “friend” to me is much deeper than just an acquaintance. I guess I am still a newbie in this blogging world and maybe once a person has been around for a while you start to feel like you are friends with other bloggers. Maybe even going to some blogging events together and getting to know each other better. I read some of your blog posts and I think, “Gee, I wish we didn’t live so far from each other, I’d like to have her as a friend.” Not that friends have to be near each other…my best friend from high school lives in New York. I definitely feel “closer” to some bloggers as opposed to others, yourself included. You are always commenting on my stuff and that makes me feel like you are a friend. So, I think I like the term, “blogging friend.” Why not? After all that rambling, did I make any sense? Ha, ha. Anyway, I am glad you are my blogging friend, Jodie! – Amy

    • Jodie Filogomo

      LOL—that’s definitely a friend in my book, Amy….when you just talk & talk because you feel comfortable with that person!
      But I know what you mean about living closer—it’s like you’d like to have some personal encounter with certain people—it seems more intimate (but not in that way). At least with your best friend in New York—you’ve had personal interaction before —even if not as much now, I’m assuming!
      I’m hoping to go to the BAM conference next year (this year it was in April in Vegas)—-maybe we can meet up then? I’d love to actually laugh & talk with the “friends” I blog with almost daily!!!

  • Bernadette Laganella

    What a fun photo and I often refer to people in my blogging circle as my blogging friends. I think that it is a true description. I have become fond of several people, yourself included, and consider them friends that I have made via this venue. Also thanks for sharing about Katherine’s Corner. I went over there and hope to join that community.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It’s funny, how when we see a certain name on the comments for the blog, how we get a feeling or emotion even before we read what they say. I guess that really is no different than in real life. We know we’re going to see a certain person, and you have certain feeling for them before you even meet up!
      Thanks for being a blogging friend Bernadette!!

  • I think you can definitely can have a blogger as a ‘friend’!!! I have a most wonderful blogger friend whom I’ve never met. She lives in a little cottage in Italy, loves cats, has a philosophy of life so similar to mine as to be uncanny, makes gorgeous things, cheers me on, lifts me up, and is my definite home away from home if (when) I finally get past my fear of flying (or take lots of valium) and get to Italy. So, a resounding yes for blogger friends from me. 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      How fabulous to hear this!! Maybe she can come visit you instead?
      Thanks for letting me in on your story—it made me smile!

  • To me a “friend” is someone you can be yourself with, and you trust.
    I have IRL (in real life friends) and virtual friends (people who I am interacting with through blogging) and both are very important to me!
    I think that we can get a “feel” for someone’s personality just through the power of the words they use.
    We may be typing, but the thoughts still flow the same as a conversation.
    You can get a vibe of genuineness (or someone with an agenda) just by reading a comment or an email.
    Blogging friends are just as real as any other.

    Even if we lived down the road from each other, we may never have met anyway.
    Geography is irrelevant, it is a common interest (and passion) that makes us come together and support each other.
    That is what friends do!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You’re so right about learning someone’s personality through their typing & comments—almost the same as through their clothing.
      I find that the support of my blogging friends make the journey so worthwhile—like we’re making a difference besides having fun!
      Thanks for your insight Samantha—you really know how to vocalize your thoughts in writing (unlike me)!

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Jodie, you are right about friendships developing even if we don’t physically connect. As writers we reveal much of ourselves sometimes even more so than casual physical acquaintances. I have had the immense pleasure of meeting some local bloggers in person and at the BAM conference. I consider you one of my blogging friends for sure!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You are absolutely right about revealing things in writing that you possibly don’t talk about to others!
      I definitely want to go to the BAM conference next year—I think it’d be a blast to meet these crazy and wonderful women!!
      Thanks friend, for being so supportive!!

  • You are definitely one of my BBF’s…Best Blogging Friends! 😉

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Awww…thanks Darlene. Back at you!!

  • Judy Gramith

    I started following my first blogger only recently and I’m following you and a few others because I found you all through that first blogger. One thing that has become clear to me is that you all respect, admire and sincerely enjoy each other. You also seem to accept and even relish each others creative differences. You are inspired by what you discover about each other and yourselves as you interact/evaluate each others fashion choices. Some of you even lovingly and joyfully poke fun at and tease each other HEY!!
    In my book that’s friendship!!!
    As a retired 8th grade civics teacher I’d use you bloggers as an example of how friends and aquaintences SHOULD treat each other online , if I was still teaching.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      What a heartwarming observation Judy!!
      I know, for myself, the blogging atmosphere has made me a more accepting person. I’m afraid I was quite judgmental years ago and thought there was a right and wrong when it came to fashion. But I feel like my world has been expanded by blogging. Now I realize that we are all so unique yet wonderful.
      And I think that humor & teasing is an important part of friendship, at least for me. Life can be too serious without it!!
      Thank you so much for giving your insights—and for being a teacher to kids—it’s an underrated, but extremely important job!!

  • Facebook has changed the way we look at the word Friend. I have friends, I have Facebook friends and I also have blogging friends.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It quite interesting how facebook has changed us so much…

  • love this post! Friend is such a loosely used term these days but good friends will always be there for you!

    cute & little

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You are so right Kileen!!

  • I think the word friend lost its meaning for me with facebook and my kids’ preschool. Everyone was a “friend” in preschool. I tend to reserve it for “real life” people…but there are those on the internet that I feel close to. Even in those cases I need to have some sort of one on one interaction to go from friendly to friend.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think you bring up a good point Anna—especially since we “friend” people Facebook! Thanks for stopping by and commenting—I appreciate it!

  • I know what you mean, Jodie. I do consider many of the bloggers I read regularly and interact with friends. Brian thinks that’s a little odd, but I feel like we share a common bond, learn things from one another, and cheer one another on. Sounds like friendship to me. I enjoyed seeing the photo of you and your bestie – so cute! Thanks for sharing, friend. 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Maybe it’s a man/woman thing? Because Rob thinks it’s interesting too!!
      It’s good to have a friend in you Jennie!!

  • I think a friend is someone with whom you share something special, and that can be in person or online. There are also online acquaintances, but only a friend if you have shared confidences, deep thoughts and, well, more than the civilities.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Definitely a good point, Carol…
      so you call the other ones whom just the civilities are exchanged acquaintances?

  • PetiteOver40

    First, I love that photo of you and your friend!! You look like you’re having so much fun! Makes me wish I had known you earlier! 🙂

    As for the definition of a friend, it really depends on the context for me. “Friend” has many meanings, but I tend to add an adjective when I want to differentiate between them. I have lots of coffee friends and blogging friends and fashion friends, as well as a lot of fashion blogger friends. 🙂 (Most of those blogging and fashion friends overlap.) I tend to have great admiration for these friends and I want to spend time with them because of something we have in common or simply because we make each other laugh.

    I have a pretty strong definition of “best friends,” though, which is very different from all the other kinds of friends I have. Another friend of mine throws around the term “best friend” a lot and I’ve come to discover I don’t care for it. If everyone is a “best friend” that diminishes the true value of the ones who really are best friends — those that are there when the chips are down and see you at your worst but love you and reach out a hand for you when you’ve fallen. Best friends see you honestly (and love you anyway–ha ha). They cheer you on in your strivings to live a fulfilled life. They’re the only ones who can be totally honest with you, even when the honesty is tough to take. You know they mean well, love you, and the friendship will not be damaged long-term because of their truth-telling. This love and honesty and commitment are all reciprocated between you. It’s such a rare connection that I can think of only one person who falls completely into this category for me.

    These are just my own definitions, of course. I’ll be curious to see what you think, Jodie, as well as what others think too!

    – Sherry

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I guess I do that adjective thing too Sherry! I have my book club friends, my dental school friends, my knitting friends and then these blogging friends (like you!!)
      There are these strange times I get somewhat philosophical and wonder about the wording of things. But really, when it comes down to it, does the wording matter? Or as Shakespeare says “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
      I agree with the best friend term definitely! Yet, I do think that timing has much to do with it as well. I’ve had a couple best friends who are still friends now, but the best adjective no longer applies. But at the time, it fit the bill perfectly!
      As for my photo—that’s the Novi connection we’ll be visiting this fall! She is truly a gem!!

      • PetiteOver40

        I agree! I think the “best” title can be shifted depending on the timing and situation. I think that’s just the way of life. But I don’t tend to have a lot of “best friends” at any given time of life — that term is reserved for specific individuals for specific periods of time and there’s only one I can think of who has been truly “best” for more than 20 years. I wonder if that will change as we get older. My parents and in-laws seem to have friends they’ve gone through a lot with. Does your mom have more than one “best friend?”

        You’ll have to recreate that photo with your Novi friend when you see her! She’s a gem, so she’s a “treasured friend”! Get it? 💎😄🤓

        • Jodie Filogomo

          What a fantastic idea of recreating that photo!! And your humor is exactly how Rob & I define it in our household!!
          My mom should answer your question—-let’s see if she reads this….mom?

  • Hanna

    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing! –Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Outfit: Floral Skirt + Stefilia’s Stone Necklace

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks for reading Hanna!!