+
More

One woman photographed all 626 of her Facebook friends. Here are 5 of them.

True
Cricket Wireless

Sometime between New Year’s Eve 2010 and New Year’s Day 2011, Tanja found herself wondering about the concept of friendship.

The night before, she’d been quietly multitasking — handwriting a letter to a friend deployed in Afghanistan while instant-messaging with another in Indonesia.

Waking up the next day, she was consumed with questions about technology and friendship. She started thinking about whether her online relationships were as real as the ones she’d formed in person. She looked at her list of Facebook friends, hundreds of names long, and wondered: “Am I really friends with all these people?”


She knew she had to find out.

Her plan was simple: Travel to the home of every single one of her 626 Facebook friends, spend time with them, and photograph them.

Tanja Hollander's self-portrait with friends Karin and Barry in Auburn, Maine. All images copyright Tanja Hollander, used with permission.

For five years, Hollander crisscrossed the globe to meet her friends in a project she called "Are You Really My Friend?" She traveled an average of two weeks every month, chronicling her journey for fans on Facebook and Instagram. By the time she ended her trip in Israel in 2016, she’d visited four continents, 12 countries, and 34 states, and she'd been welcomed into more than 400 homes.

“I have crawled on the floor to play Legos and read books with children I just met. I have been shown urban gardens, admired chickens and off-the-grid cabins. I saw a bee sanctuary being built in North St. Louis as part of an urban beautification project. I shared a bowl of gumbo in New Orleans with a friend I hadn’t met in real life. In Washington, D.C., I toured the West Wing with a friend who was a staff photographer for President Obama. I have listened to stories of family tragedy and strength, and the difficulties of surviving in this economic climate. Most importantly, I have learned about human kindness and compassion. I continue to be surprised by the number of people, especially the real-life total strangers who have opened their homes to me — offering me a place to stay, sharing their lives, their stories, and their families while allowing me to document it all.”

Colin Dusenbury and Thaddeus Herrick. Photographed at home in Los Angeles.

As Hollander learned more about herself and friendship through her travels, her fans were eager to share their own musings on the subject.

Hollander began soliciting comments at lectures and events, asking attendees to write their answers to the question “What is a real friend?” on Post-it notes.

She eventually collected hundreds of answers, scanned them one by one, and posted them on her website in a garish, beautiful collage.

“It was fascinating seeing the different ways people answered the question,” she says. “Sometimes a kindergartener would have the same definition of friendship as someone with three Ph.D.s.”

12 Post-it notes from Hollander's collection. There are hundreds more.

There are worse ways to pass an afternoon than scrolling through them.

Responses run the gamut from pithy and witty — “a real friend holds your hair back when you’re drunk” — to profoundly sincere — “a real friend sees you at your best when you’re at your worst” — to surprisingly moving — “a real friend has a different life with the same heart.”

Kyle Durrie, photographed in the Type Truck in Brooklyn, New York.

As for whether the project answered her own questions about friendship, Hollander says it did.

Mary Bok, photographed at her home in Camden, Maine, alongside some adorable furry pals.

“I learned that people come in and out of your life at different times for different reasons,” she says thoughtfully. "There is value in relationships that are fleeting and are ephemeral. I have friends that will go see music with me but won’t go see art with me. That doesn’t mean our friendships are less real. And as we get older and have kids and families and relationships, things will change and continue to change. That doesn’t mean our friendships weren’t meaningful at the time.”

Melody, Ike, and Zachary Nwangburuka, photographed at their home in Converse, Texas.

As for whether friendships can be categorized by whether they happen online or offline, Hollander says her opinion is clear.

“One thing is for certain,” she says. “There isn’t a difference between online friendships and offline friendships. It’s something that weaves in and out of everything we do, from work to friendship — everything, literally. There are some people that I see in person more often than friends that exist only online, but that doesn’t mean I’m closer to the people I see every day.

Social media is just a different way of communicating.”

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

Keep ReadingShow less
The Late Late Show with James Corden/Youtube

The instructors were ruthless.

If you’re not familiar with James Corden’s popular "Toddlerography" segment, you’re in for a treat.

As the name suggests, celebrity guests on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” take a dance class taught by kiddy instructors. Sure, the “students” are usually pretty seasoned performers, like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and Jason Derulo, but their experience doesn’t make learning the moves any less intense. Anyone who’s tried to keep pace with a toddler knows it’s a helluva workout.

Billy Porter was the latest guest invited to participate in this wholesome fitness trend, and he did not disappoint.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Freepik

A new mother struggling with postpartum depression.

We may be just months away from having the first-ever pill to help treat postpartum depression (PPD). The drug, called Zuranolone, was developed by Sage Therapeutics and Biogen, two companies out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The FDA has given the drug’s application priority review and the period ends on August 5, 2023.

Currently, there is only one FDA-approved medication for PPD, Zulresso, which is only available through a 60-hour, one-time infusion and can cost up to $35,000 per treatment.

If the medication is approved, it can also be used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).

Keep ReadingShow less

North Carolina boy helps local bakery by selling them fresh eggs.

You don't have to be a market analyst to know that the price of eggs has skyrocketed. If you're just an average person buying eggs for breakfast, it may seem ridiculous that egg prices are so high when it appears that the local Tractor supply always has baby chicks for sale.

But with an outbreak of avian flu infecting nearly 58 million birds while people move away from meat protein and consume more eggs, the price increase makes sense. It's painful to people's budgets, but it's how the market works, and families aren't the only ones feeling the pinch.

Small businesses that rely on eggs are also experiencing their budgets busting due to egg prices. Sweet Anna's Bakery in Dallas, North Carolina, already had to raise prices due to the cost of eggs and other ingredients, but owner Courtney Johnson discovered she had a connection. Fifth grader Rylen Robbins has 21 chickens that were producing too many eggs for his family to eat. (You see where this is going, right?)

Keep ReadingShow less
AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

Keep ReadingShow less