In the beginning (early 80's) were friendship beads. The less sense they made, the better.
Then came the friendship bracelets. Actually, they came before the beads, but I didn't really know about them until my friends and I were old enough to master the art of making them. They were handmade and took a lot of time, the level of difficulty in the pattern conveying the depth of the friendship. To honor the hard work of it's maker, the recipient was expected to wear it until it fell off naturally, and even then, it was usually displayed on an overcrowded bulletin board in the recipient's bedroom.
And now we have the aptly named "silly bands." No labor required, except perhaps to untangle them. I'm not sure what this suggests about the quality of young friendships these days, but I think Lewis Hyde would have a thing or two to say on this subject.
Yesterday at the pool, Olivia gave away two and came back with three, one of which broke before the end of the day. And today I'm not sure that she'd be able to tell me the names of any of the children involved in the exchange. They're cute, but I think it's time to pull out the beads and the yarn.