If you have not encountered a picture with the hashtag “NoNewFriends” on your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feed, you’re one of the lucky ones. On a weekly basis, I see captions on photos of friends proudly claiming “no new friends”, and every time I do I question the poster’s intentions.
The phrase “no new friends” originated from Drake’s hit song “Started from the Bottom” as he sang, “No new friends, we don’t do that.” Following, DJ Khaled released the song “No New Friends”, which soon led to the infamous hashtag #NoNewFriends appearing repeatedly on social media.
While I believe that it is very important to remain close with old friends, using this phrase shouts, “I love my old friends and have no interest becoming close with anyone else.” I doubt, or at least hope, that few users of this hashtag actually feel this way, so what is the purpose in implying your exclusivity? Even if you are satisfied with your current friend group, I strongly believe that we can all benefit from new encounters.
I came to Western with very few of my good friends, so I prioritized building new relationships. From my experience I can say that it is not easy coming out of your shell and having the confidence to approach a new friend, but when you do, it is often extremely rewarding. That being said, the people I approached were those who seemed equally excited about a new friend, so I know that seeing this hashtag last year would have greatly deterred me from certain individuals.
The friendships I made in first year have truly shaped my experience at Western, yet I am always excited and willing to meet new people. You never know who is going to change your life, so I urge you to be open to new friends, and not virtually shut yourself off through phrases like #nonewfriends. While you may feel that using this hashtag either shows your support for Drake, DJ Khaled, or the best friend you are posing with, you may actually be placing a barrier between yourself and prospective friends.
There is no doubt that social media has become a major part of our lives to the point where what we say and post online has become representative of our identity. I hope we all start thinking more about how we choose to portray ourselves and realize just how powerful a simple hashtag can be.