The funny thing about people knowing you, is that many people want to be your friend.
"Will you be my friend?" is one those questions I get the most.
It's also one the questions I have to answer with a negative answer the most, because I don't like lying to people.
Like I've told in some of my earlier journals, my life didn't overflow with friendship nor popularity when I was younger. It was quite the contrary. I wasn't anything near popular, to the point that most people didn't even want to have anything to do with me. As the kid that got bullied, the few that dared to get close to me, more or less put their social status in the group at stake by even talking to me. And as a result, I guess I valued their friendship a lot. After all; I knew what they risked.
Coming from that sort of situation, friendship has always been a very important but at the same time mysterious matter to me. Something not be taking too lightly. Being a friend to someone meant that you had a close connection to that person. That you knew someone. And you where there for that person, even when that person wasn't feeling too well or when he called you up in the middle of the night when something went wrong.
Getting older I pretty soon found out that wasn't everybody's definition of friendship.
During my days in high school, I always hoped that there would be a day in life that I would do better. That I would be more popular, and that there would be people that actually wanted to be my friend -- genuinely, without having to hide it from others. As soon as I became a pretty devoted webdesigner and webdeveloper in university, and more and more people found out about my talent, I indeed got more friends. A lot of them. But ironically, they weren't anything near what I hoped for. Most of them weren't interested in me as a person, but rather in what was in this 'relationship' for them. And pretty soon I found out what it was all about. After a few friendly smalltalks, the truth soon was revealed.
"My computer broke down, can you help me?"
"Oh, my webhosting crashed on this new plugin. Could you..?"
Like any stupid fool that hardly knew friendship, I spend a few evenings fixing computers, webhosting problems, and scripts. For free, of course. Because they were friends... weren't they? Only to find out that I wasn't actually invited for that awesome birthday party they threw in a week later. And I wasn't invited for that barbecue either. Nor were they there for me, when I found out I was sick and I could've really used some friends to cheer me up. As any sane person would expect, when I stopped fixing their stuff for free, I'd never hear from any of them again. And you know... I wasn't even mad about it at that point. I only felt disappointed.
A harsh lesson, but certainly one that taught me to never use the word "friendship" too lightly (and not to fix things for free for everybody -- that too)
I'm very social to some extend. Don't get me wrong on that one. I love talking. I love discussions. I have lots and lots of acquaintances, but I've only got a few friends. And those are the people that could wake me up in the middle in the night, and I would probably still get out of bed (and that's really something, considering I'm usually really really grumpy in the morning).
When a random person or artist on DeviantArt, or where ever asks me if I could be their friend, I often say "no". Not because I dislike them. But because they live at the other side of the world, I will most likely never see them face to face, and I know basically nothing of them other than their nickname and the art they have in their gallery (if they uploaded anything). How can you be a honest friend to a person you don't know? I know I couldn't. And I don't want to create the false expectation I can, only to disappoint one later on.