Guide To Google Drive

How Ranking Your Friendships Can Make You a Better Friend

Make new friends, but sort the old ones into a 15-tier spreadsheet

Lauren Larson
Published in
5 min readOct 7, 2020
Light blue filtered photo of Zoom call with many faces and Google Drive icons in the foreground.
Photo illustration; Image source: Alistair Berg/Getty Images

This piece is part of How Google Drive Can Make Every Corner of Your Life Easier

First I organized my spices. Then I organized my friends.

In the early days of the pandemic, facing a glut of alone time and not yet numbed to the chaos, I resolved to get my shit together. Besides alphabetizing my spices, I Kondo’d my socks and cleaned the grout in my shower. I filed away over 200 items in the “Miscellany” folder on my computer — the doodad drawer of desktops. But I still felt no peace.

My home was optimized, but my personal life was a kaleidoscope of anxieties. In some ways the pandemic had eased social anxiety: Nobody was at a bar without me. But all my conversations had gone digital, and digital chitchat stresses me out big time.

I overthink every text message and Slack: If someone doesn’t respond immediately, they’re mad at me. If they don’t use exclamation points, they’re mad at me. My pandemic interactions were constant but ungratifying — my friends and family had been reduced to a slew of notifications. At all times, I felt like I was both neglecting my loved ones and being neglected. I had to triage.

I think often about a 2018 essay in which writer Mary Traina shared some post-breakup advice her father had given her: “It happens, kiddo,” he told her, “You guys were great and I liked him, but now you’ve sorted him and you have to move on.”

The idea that you don’t have to give someone space in your mind — that you can simply sort them into another category — was so seductive to me.

The need to prioritize the people in your life who matter most has never been greater than in quarantine: Everyone is going through something, and your friends and family need your unfettered support. Besides which, one can only do so many…



Lauren Larson
Writer for

Gossip-at-large. Writing in GQ, Men’s Health, Allure, Bon Appétit, here, there, everywhere