Best friends forever

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The words "Best Friends Forever" written on the Golden Gate Bridge (Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY)

"Best friends forever" ("BFF") is a phrase that describes a close friendship.

Definition[edit]

A BFF is a term for someone's best friend[1] and are characterized by intimacy, trust, and permanence.[2] BFFs are usually in close contact and have shared experiences, such as attending the same school or sharing musical tastes. Relationships described as BFF are common in high school and often decline when the parties go to college.[3] The term BFF does not convey exclusivity; people can have more than one BFF.[4]

Origin[edit]

Although the concept of having or being a "best friend" is ageless, the acronym BFF was popularized as a quick way for friends to sign off and express their positive feelings for one another while instant-messaging (IM-ing) on the computer or sending a text message on cell phones.[4]

The acronym "BFF" was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary on 16 September 2010.[5] The dictionary states that the acronym BFF originated in 1996.[5]

Cultural perception[edit]

According to a survey in France, the BFF friendship is a concept that occupies a certain place on social networks.[6] This value is reassuring, especially for the millennial generation that experiences a divorce frequently. It is a sign of social success and a balanced life.

A large survey of friendship in the UK in 2003 found that on average, people had nine close friends.[2] In elementary and middle school, best friendships often last less than one full academic year.[7]

Barbara Delinsky described a BFF as "someone you don't have to see every day to still connect with, someone who loves you whether you talk often or not, someone who would drop everything and catch the next flight if you needed her. It's someone who couldn't care less where or what she eats, as long as she's with you."[8]

In the media[edit]

In a 1997 episode of Friends, Lisa Kudrow's character, Phoebe Buffay, uses the term.

Michael Scott uses the abbreviation as well in S2E2 of "The Office (U.S. TV series)".

Paris Hilton's My New BFF, also known as My New BFF, is a competitive reality television show in which Paris Hilton searches for her new BFF.

Best Friends Forever was an American television comedy series that ran on NBC from April 4, to June 1, 2012.[9]

In 2009, social networking service Myspace launched "BFF", an online game show series that tested how well best friends knew each other.[10]

Best Friends Forever (South Park) is an Emmy-winning episode of Comedy Central's South Park, which first aired 30 March 2005, based on the Terri Schiavo case.

Academic studies[edit]

Eileen Kennedy-Moore says that parents can help children cope with a conflict between friends through strategies such as empathizing, discouraging retaliation, and encouraging relationship repair.[11]

In 2010, the BFF concept was a part of a BFF contract "to encourage the signatories to work through their differences before splitting up."[12]

In their article "Friendship and Natural Selection" in July, 2014, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler reported a positive correlation between close friendships and common genotypes, indicating that DNA similarities may be a causal factor in establishing friendships.[13]

In a study conducted at the University of Oxford, Tamas David-Barrett and his colleagues reported that there is an unusually large number of profile pictures on Facebook that depict two women.[14] This pattern is present in each region of the world. After eliminating the alternative hypotheses, the study concluded that the finding suggests that (a) close friendship formation patterns are universal among humans, and (b) there is a marked gender difference in the propensity to form lasting friendship due to an evolutionary ultimate cause.[14] This suggests that the BFF concept, albeit with a different name, may exist in many cultures, going back to evolutionary times. Recent studies have also shown that close friends are treated as siblings[15] throughout the lifespan.[16]

Commercial use[edit]

Companies like Coca Cola have used the expression on some of their Cola products. Their cans say "Share a Diet Coke with your BFF".[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Oxford American Dictionary, BFF, Official website, UK, retrieved August 30, 2016
  2. ^ a b Irene S. Levine (2009), "Ch. 1: Understanding Female Friendships", Best Friends Forever, Penguin, ISBN 9781590203705 
  3. ^ Debra L. Oswald, Eddie M. Clark (2003), "Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college", Personal Relationships, 10 (2): 187–196, doi:10.1111/1475-6811.00045 
  4. ^ a b "BFF: DOB 1996 - Welcome to the Oxford English Dictionary". Psychology Today. 
  5. ^ a b "My BFF just told me "TTYL" is in the dictionary. LMAO. - OUPblog". OUPblog. 
  6. ^ Mina Soundiram, lexpress.fr, Amitié: appartenir à une bande est devenu un signe de réussite sociale, France , December 14, 2015
  7. ^ Berndt, T. J.; Hawkins, J. A.; Hoyle, S. G. (1986). "Changes in friendship during a school year: Effects on children's and adolescents' impressions of friendship and sharing with friends". Child Development. 57: 1284–1297. 
  8. ^ "What is a BFF?". barbaradelinsky.com. 
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 21, 2012). "'Community' Returns March 15 at 8pm + Premieres for 'Bent,' 'Best Friends Forever' and 'Betty White's Off Their Rockers'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  10. ^ "MySpace Launches "BFF," Online Game Show Series", Bloomberg, April 2, 2009, retrieved March 25, 2014 
  11. ^ Kennedy-Moore, E. (2012). Make new friends but keep the old...or not.
  12. ^ "The BFF Contract makes friendships a lasting proposition", Sarasota Herald Tribune, p. B1, February 11, 2010, retrieved March 25, 2014 
  13. ^ Nicholas A. Christakis. "Friendship and natural selection". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111: 10796–10801. doi:10.1073/pnas.1400825111. 
  14. ^ a b David-Barrett, Tamas; Rotkirch, Anna; Carney, James; Behncke Izquierdo, Isabel; Krems, Jaimie A.; Townley, Dylan; McDaniell, Elinor; Byrne-Smith, Anna; Dunbar, Robin I. M. (2015-03-16). "Women Favour Dyadic Relationships, but Men Prefer Clubs: Cross-Cultural Evidence from Social Networking". PLoS ONE. 10 (3): e0118329. PMC 4361571Freely accessible. PMID 25775258. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118329. 
  15. ^ Rotkirch, Anna; Lyons, Minna; David-Barrett, Tamas; Jokela, Markus (1 October 2014). "Gratitude for Help among Adult Friends and Siblings". Evolutionary Psychology. 12. 
  16. ^ David-Barrett, Tamas; Behncke Izquierdo, Isabel; Carney, James; Nowak, Katharina; Launay, Jacques; Rotkirch, Anna (14 May 2016). "Life course similarities on social networking sites". Advances in Life Course Research. 30: 84–89. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2016.04.002. 
  17. ^ Coca-Cola Celebrates a Summer of Sharing, Coca Cola Press Release June 10, 2014