Les copains d’abord

It’s almost as if Georges Brassens had anticipated the social networking craze of today where everybody relies on his friends for recommendations and buying decisions. As if this were something new and never heard before. In the years before the Internet Era, social structures such as refer-a-friend and recommendations of products and services were even more important as the tools for research of common information were much more limited. People had to rely on each other in a much more substantial way than a Facebook connection can offer. People had to rely on friends of friends and there was no way to call a friend to tell him that someone will be in town soon and would they please support your friend in a certain cause. So people resorted to a friend-of-friend network that would guarantee that someone traveling to a town where he know nobody would be well received, supported and helped in his needs. One of the core tenets of the Freemasons was an is the open reception of their Brethren at any affiliated lodge.

Les amitiés – Friendship is a very human quality – I’m not sure if animals make friends – kids have their own thoughts about friends; M., who is 5 and 3/4 clearly differentiates between boys who are friends and boyfriends, friends, best friends and really best friends. All her friends are in real life. She does not have a parallel Facebook life – yet. One of my recollections in my school around 10 is the barber/hairdresser who held a shop inside the school and did an abysmal job in cutting hair but it was cheap – he told me anyone has only one friend in life – I would say not one but very few.

So when people want to be “just” friends – meaning no relationship, no involvement that may break and take down with it the friendship, the question arises if it shouldn’t be the other way around – when you marry, you can get a divorce – but friendship? So when you meet someone who becomes a real friend, then this changes your life. Not only on Facebook but in your soul.You can “friend” (verb) people online – not IRL (in real life) – whatever that is – more about that later. I recently met a friend…. how do I know? We seem to know each other forever.

Les copins d’abord

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