Don’t Spend Your Money Buying Friends

This is a guest post from Zoli Cerei from

The recession or, speaking a bit more generally, a lack of money shouldn’t cut down on your social life. We have to be aware of the correlation between our financial and social status, and have to learn to separate these. This coin has two sides: those who are financially strong enough may end up “buying” friends and later feeling insecure about them and question themselves whether they can count on these people, or not. The opposite is when those financially unstable don’t have the confidence to build a social circle because they fear uncomfortable situations caused by money.

A modern day manifestation of this issue is the exchange of internet friend for money. You might have also faced this, it is basically just another kind of advertising: this time what you pay for are Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Were these sites meant for that to happen really?

Friends, Money and Giving Value In Real Life

Be respectable by respecting others. Everyone shares human values of high standards, and if you want to observe this just a little, you will. Once you start respecting these values, others will appreciate the gesture, and respect you in return. Respect doesn’t have to be material, an honest compliment, a helpful movement but even powerful constructive criticism can mean a lot to the other one.

Be friendly, because that’s the best way to actually make… friends. Too many people fear kindness. Kindness is in a way revealing yourself to someone else, showing something from the inside of you. Too many people fear responsibility, since when you’re taking responsibility for something, then you become accountable for that thing. Too many people fear saying their opinion out loud: if your opinion is no longer concealed, you may too be criticized. Friendships involve all of these: being friendly means being nice and kind to your friend. It also means taking responsibility for them and for you as well. It means undertaking your opinion, and saying it honestly even if it is negative at times. Too many people fear being friendly, because it is not always easy, no one said it is. But it’s obviously the best way to make friends.

Be a loyal friend in happiness and in sorrow, too. I observed that, contrary to the saying, a friend in need and sorrow isn’t always a friend indeed. Rather, a friend in joy is. While being next to someone when he is going through hard times you might even comfort yourself observing that you are actually in a better situation. However, when your friend has just accomplished one of their dreams, it is usually harder to honestly be happy about the situation.

Realize you can’t be friends with everyone. While you can buy everyone a beer at the party, and that might make everyone feel good, you can’t actually be friends with everyone. There are people who you don’t name as your best friend; however, you would like them to call you their best friend. Is that fair? Being best friends is mutual.

The depth of online friendships, or buying Twitter followers

Provide Great Content. This is the first step to any relationship, and not just online. You provide something that others like and that they would like to receive more often. In the online world, that’s the moment when they hit the “Follow” or the “Subscribe” button. Whatever you’re doing on the internet, keep an eye on providing something useful to the online society, and others will notice you.

Make Your Voice Heard. Engage with others. Replying to tweets and leaving comments can be at times as useful as it is to buy an advertising spot, and it costs nothing. Today, the web is “social”, and as I said, being social is by far not equal to being rich. Show you’re a human, not just a bank account. Engage.

Be honest. Don’t call everyone your friend after the click of a button. That’s something that really annoys me in the case of social networks: relationships are instantly branded as friendships. Making friends online is possible; however, just as it is in real life, it is a process. A relationship goes through several phases until it can be called a friendship, just like you don’t go to bed on a first date. If you have not yet gone through this process with someone, don’t call them a friend yet.


Money is a powerful tool in our lives and using it wisely is an unquestionable power of any man or woman. Money can buy you medicine, it cannot buy your health. It can buy you sex, but not love. It can buy company but not friends. Showing human values and respecting your fellows, however, will surely turn into great experiences.

About the author: Zoli Cserei is a very young simplicity and productivity blogger and an ever-curious hacker of life who writes for Simply Will Do. Check out his blog to see whether he has some useful stuff for you or maybe subscribe to his RSS feed for more.

14 thoughts on “Don’t Spend Your Money Buying Friends”

  1. Pingback: How to get followers & close friends on Twitter 500+ a day
  2. I agree with all your points above. But I’ve got instances where you CAN buy friends with money.

    Eg. Splitting a $40 bill among 3 friends? If it means you forking out $20, just do it. Small monetary things will add up and turn into future favours.

    Maybe culture plays an important part. Here in Malaysia, like many Asian countries, being “tight” with money is a turn off.

    • Hi Pip! (this is the first time I ever see “pip” as a name!)

      Oh, I see it’s Philip! Well, welcome Philip and thanks for your comment.

      I think what you’re talking about is not necessarily specific to Malaysia, it’s the same in our place as well. Being fair and generous isn’t equal to spending your money on your friends though! It’s just good manners, I think.

      Also, what I was meaning to say wasn’t that you shouldn’t give your friends some money when they need it, or that you should be tight with your budget. I was just willing to say that money should not be the *tool* to build friendships.

      Hi PIP, and have a nice day! (do you know any other pips, by the way?)

      Zoli 😉
      .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.

  3. Great post on how to really make friends in this social media era! I reflected on my social networking activities lately and discovered that even though most marketers or average users online claim that they are trying to build relationships through various social networks out there, they are simply just friending or following more people. Do you really call that relationship building? NO!
    .-= Wayne Liew´s last blog ..Twitter Follow Strategy: Are You Really Building Relationships? =-.

    • Hi Wayne!

      Thanks for the compliment, first of all! I also saw that, it happens quite often, you visit a blog, you’re called an oh-so-good friend at your first visit, the owner preaches how worthwhile friendships are for them, etc. etc.

      Let’s take this comment for example. Although I’m *really* glad that you left me this comment, I only know that you are Wayne Liew, and online marketer-entrepreneur who left a comment at one of my articles. I could call you “my dear friend” right away, but how would that look? It would mean that the term friendship is of low value for me, as I call everybody a friend, and thus real friendships lose value. It would feel weird and unauthentic for you as well, since you probably did not think that “wow… I read an article from this guy, he’s my friend now”.. That’s not how things work. By preserving the real value of friendships you will be more respected and whenever you call somebody your friend, they will know that you have a special place for them in your heart. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, dude!
      .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.

  4. I’ve met amazing people online.

    I agree that friends should always form organically.
    .-= Scott Webb´s last blog ..I Quit My Day Job to Blog With 60 RSS Subscribers =-.

    • Hi Scott!

      I have also met some awesome dudes online, and I think that many of us have, we’re in 2010 😀 What I’m glad for is that using online tools I can keep in touch with people whom I met in real life but are far away from me now.

      Yep, friendships should form organically, and in a natural pace, not at the speed of a click or of broadband internet.

      I hope your day rocks, Scott!
      .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.

    • Hi Nea, thanks for coming by!

      All I can say is that I am glad you didn’t have to hear about these kinds of miserable tricks until now. I don’t really get what the people who buy thousands of followers by paying a few hundred bucks (or maybe even less) think when they go that way. At the moment I have about 250 followers, and only follow about 80 people, and I’m having a great time on Twitter and still have time for “real life” (I mean offline).

      Btw, I have just followed you, I’m zcserei on Twitter 🙂

      I really like your phrasing with “any worthwhile relationship comes without a price tag”.

      Have a nice day, Nea!
      .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.

    • Hey Steven, glad we can talk here as well! 😀

      Well, if you had no idea then you can call yourself lucky, I believe. Also, I don’t think it will really take your attention unless you follow people who haven’t gained your following by sharing real value. Absolutely, you can buy the numbers, but these people will not really be interested in what you have to say… Thanks for the compliments and for participating in the discussion!

      Wishing you a great day,
      .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.

  5. Good points.

    One of the reasons I refused to get into social networks in the past has always been the inflationary use of the term friend. I don’t even want to think about how often I have made fun of the hundreds (or thousands) so called “friends” that some of my real life friends had accumulated on MySpace.

    Just yesterday I watched a promo video of a new service peddling a system to get massive amounts of Twitter followers. Price tag: 67$/month and that’s considered to be a great deal compared to the amount of money people spend on sites like twittercounter.

    Granted, for some this might make sense as a business investment, but as you pointed out in your post, it’s important to be honest with yourself and know that there’s still a lot of relationship development needed before you can call someone a friend.
    .-= Marko´s last blog ..Mind Mapping for Musicians =-.

    • Hi Marko! Quite similarly to you, I was (and still am) a bit afraid of social networks like Facebook or hi5 (popular in our country). What I laugh at is when guys get turned on when they see some hot girl in their “recent visitors” list.. not thinking about how they spend all their afternoons in front of the screen watching profiles. 😛

      I wouldn’t pay a cent for new Twitter followers, just for the sake of following. A major drawback is that when you buy such “followers” you do not really buy people who actually follow you, but people who are number traders, who are also “in the system”, and don’t care about what is on their time-line, but instead concentrate their powers so that their message is transmitted to (though not possibly read by) thousands of tweeple.

      I believe that if you give attention to what you’re sharing (both online and in real life), then you will naturally be followed, no buying is required.

      Thanks for the comment, Marko, I appreciate it!

  6. Huge thanks to you Dragos for giving me the chance to guest post at your blog!

    It was a great privilege to me, and I feel honored. I hope that our collaboration will continue in the future, too!

    .-= Zoli Cserei´s last blog ..Do You Wow Enough? =-.


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