Disagreeing somewhat with Maxdoncona -
We do have a friend system here. You can look at a poster's profile by clicking on the username, and you can follow them by clicking follow
under their avatar photo in their profile. Then you can look at their recent posts by clicking on My Friends in the lighter blue band at the top of the page.
Some of have done that for a bunch of posters, thus we'd have lots to review by clicking on My Friends. I have a batch I've done that with too, mainly so that if I seriously wonder what happened to a person, I could keep track. But really, it's much easier if you are looking to see when someone last posted, to go to the profile and look at their latest posts.
You can find that by going to Search in the dark blue upper right band and putting their user name into the search space. There will then usually be some link to find their posts, and you can find the profile.
After accumulating followers and photos of avatars of people I'm following - I never actually follow anyone, and I doubt anyone follows me. All anyone has to do is scroll through New Posts and I'll be there somewhere.
A number of us have been here on a2k off and on for years. It can sound like a clique system to read some threads, even if they are argument/debate type threads, because we get to know each other.
Many, though certainly not all, of the regular posters have met in real life. Some famously argumentive people have actually liked all that arguing and been glad to meet.
Some of us who have never met and never will would, I think, count the other as a friend. Not some kind of check-the-box on a website type friend, but a real one. But that takes time.
Meantime, welcome to a2k, saka2u.
I guess I'll add that some of us could find it odd to have someone follow all our posts, a little like stalking.
I'll also add you can follow a subject you are interested in. That is what the tagging system is about. For example, if you are interested in relationships, put that into the blank space under the words Search Forums on the New Posts page.