What The Heck Does Friend Mean Anymore?

I wonder, in this age of social networks, if people understand what it's like to be a friend to someone. I wonder if people understand the difference between having a friend in the real world and the "friends" that are found on line. I wonder if one the two definitions are starting to blend into one.
Friendship is a relationship between two people who care about each other. Caring means there is emotion. Emotion means there is some kind of connection that cannot be measured physically or financially. A friend is someone you share your life with. A friend is there when you need her or him, whether you ask or not. A friend gets to know you, not because you spewed out some information on a computer screen, but because they have experienced you. Friendship isn't developed solely by talking about the past - that may be how initial connections are formed. Instead, friendship is developed in the here and now, through present day experience and something many avoid: intimacy.
I imagine all the fearful people cringing at the word "intimacy." In their minds, a warning screams out, "Oh God, I can't allow him to get close to me because he might hurt me." We're talking about friendship here, nothing else. Since when did friendship become something more akin to association? That's basically what people are forming: associations without real emotional, meaningful ties.
When something great happens in your life, your friend celebrates with you, initially and for years to come. When something sad happens, your friend is there to console you, but also, she learns about you from your experience and allows herself to grow with you, as a friend. I tell one of my associates that I just saved a bundle of money by switching to Geico, and he might pat me on the back and say something like, "Good for you." I tell the same thing to one of my friends, and I'll end up using the money I saved for a nice celebration. And years later, we'll be sitting around around and she'll say, "Remember when you saved a bunch of money by switching go Geico and we ended up totally hammered and in the back of a Mexican's pickup truck on the way to a field to help pick tomatoes with a group of migrant workers?"
There's a big difference from "Friending" someone, and being someone's friend. I believe we should work on the latter.
Doggonnit Doggonnit
41-45, M
May 4, 2012