An acquaintance is a type of friend that either you know or knows you. How much you know the person is not a requirement— so having an acquaintance in which you do not know their name still counts. Being an acquaintance does not take a lot of commitment. Just being able to recognize and identify someone as a friend is all that is required.
I find that one has a lot of acquaintances. This is probably because you do not have to spend time with them, or take any personal interest in them. They can be a part of a larger group that you both are a part of such as a graduating class from school, or a co-worker in the office.
So often we say that we have a lot of friends. But, if you look at it closer— how many of those so called friends are just acquaintances. I have seen a lot of people who tend to collect friends like they do trophies. They are the ones who want to have friends so that they can claim to be popular. I have noticed that I know a lot of people— some of which may even question my motives for being their friend. I tend to make friends with those to whom I find a common interest, and not for prestige. I believe there is a sense of connection when we can claim someone as a friend. There is also a sense of pride when we find that someone can claim us as their friend as well.
I hate the sense of having an unrequited relationship. Those who collect friends tend to not recipricate back to those who have befriended them. I know that there probably are some people to whom I have befriended who do not return the favor of being a friend. I also tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, and give them the exuse that they are busy with their lives and do not have time to keep up with all of their friends. I just hope that those to whom I befriend understand the genuineness of my friendship and do not feel that I am just "collecting friends".
What about you… Do you find that you have a lot of aquaintences? Do you find people who collect friends in order to look popular? Do you find that having an aquaintance is satisfying, or too much work?