Samantha Armytage is the star of morning TV, yet one of the most real people we’ve ever interviewed for Balance. We interviewed Sam back in 2015 when she released her book SHINE and loved every minute of our chat with this down-to-earth country girl.
This weekend a column by Sam caught our eye. Written for the popular Stellar Magazine, Sam has succinctly identified one of the biggest cons of our time; the “friend” button on social media.
Are people we’ve never met really our friends? Can a virtual friend ever replace the friends we’ve acquired with our scars, tears and drunken nights out?
Below is Samantha’s answer to the social media friendship dilemma as published by Stellar Magazine and, a bonus clip from our interview in 2015.
I’M going to let you in on a little secret. I’m very discriminating. And I don’t apologise for it.
In an age when the world is becoming smaller and so, so connected and discrimination is a dirty word, I’m thinking about starting a movement for grumpy, discerning, middle-aged people who have refined tastes and excellent judgement.
I’m sick of checking Instagram to see how many people “like” me and I’m tired of building my self-worth via the anonymous hordes of haters on Twitter*. Most of the time, I totally forget to Facebook, too.
I want to go back to the good old days when you distinguished friends from other people.
When you knocked on someone’s door, rather than just texting from the car outside “I’m here”.
When friends knew your middle name, how you got your scars and your birthday.
When they mopped up your tears as you cried over a stupid boyfriend or held your hair back when you consumed too much Passion Pop at schoolies.
Technology means most of the hundreds of thousands of “friends” in my life these days are people I’ve never met.
Can you tell from a person’s social media account how they treat waiters? What their relationship is like with their family? Or how short their fuse is? Because these are the things that are really important in a person’s character. How can we call them friends if we’re not sure they’re going to fly off the handle when they’re untangling the Christmas lights?
Well colour me purple, in real life we might not like these people at all. Technology means most of the hundreds of thousands of “friends” in my life these days are people I’ve never met. Now, don’t cry for me Argentina… my real friends are real. And thoughtful and mischievous and fantabulous.
But who can you count on these days? And why did those Silicon Valley nerds have to bastardise that beautiful old word: friend? Most importantly, if I loathe social media so much, why am I such a slave to it?
So many questions, so many friends, so little time…
All the experts will back me up on this. Psychology 101 says that the best relationships are formed when you actually get to know people, and that those who take their time end up with more love and less chaos (and I don’t just mean dating relationships here, I’m talking friendships, family, workmates, neighbours, people you meet at the dog park etc).
If it’s true love you’re looking for, or true mateship, it pays to be judicious. So in this era where speed and connectivity are valued (NBN: are you listening?), how can a girl retain her shrewdness?
In the fast-food age, when everyone’s a Big Mac, what do you do when you’re a slow-cooked lamb shoulder?
Last week I threw out all the ratty old tea towels and chipped china in my kitchen, which proves that I don’t only discriminate in my personal life.
And if managing three high-profile social media accounts has taught me anything so far, it’s that it pays to be super choosy in who you “follow” (and to be at least 40 per cent smart arse in your life).
If life has taught me anything, it’s if you really want to get to know someone, get drunk with them. Also, trust your instinct and slow down. It should take time to get to know someone.
Now if anyone needs me, I’ll be over here scrolling through Instagram.
*And neither of these things are true. I have a very healthy sense of self-worth, thank you very much.
Samantha co-hosts Sunrise, 5.30am weekdays, on the Seven Network. She appeared on Balance in 2015 and below is a clip covering what she said then about friends and being real.