I can be friends with you outside of Facebook. Perhaps, it may be better for our friendship that way.
I have a long list of people that have requested to be my friend on Facebook. I used to automatically click “accept” and go on. Not anymore. Now I carefully weigh the consequences.
As a reporter, it was extremely beneficial to be connected with as many people as possible. According to their news feeds, I got leads on accidents, fires, and many great human interest stories. Sometimes, inside scoops were dug up because of a friend of a friend.
When I left that business, I quickly deleted many of my “friends”. In reality, they were mere acquaintances. These were people that were not friendly to me in public and some who turned out to be my enemies. Why would I want them to have access to my personal family pictures and the ordinary mundane of my life?
Being in leadership at a church, sometimes newcomers will automatically request to be my friend. I almost never accept. Am I being mean? Un-Christian like? I’m not sure, but I do know that being my friend on Facebook doesn’t automatically bring you into my inner circle or make you a real friend.
In reality, sometimes it hinders it. I’ve been talking with people face-to-face (the original Facetime) and sometimes feel like I’m missing something. Consider this:
Seeing someone with a broken arm and asking, “Oh my! What happened?”
Answering in a disgusting tone, “Didn’t you see my post on Facebook?”
Of course, then I realize they have posted a picture of getting a cast on in the hospital, along with a long explanation and assume everyone who is on their friend list knows (and cares).
Perhaps they don’t.
I love having friends. Real friends. But the lines between reality and fantasy have become so blurred with social media and reality TV that perhaps we all need a refresher.
Real friends talk to you more about your kids, your marriage or your job than type their opinion on the latest trending topic.
Real friends call you (and/or text and/or private message) more than they “like” a status.
Real friends go out in public with you…whether to dinner, shopping, etc. more than then pin an outfit on Pinterest.
Real friends hold your hand at the hospital more than hang out at online chatrooms.
Real friends help you celebrate (in person) a birthday or graduation or retirement rather than type “Happy Birthday” on your wall (like a hundred other people that haven’t talked to you all year!).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against social media. I’m the first one to get excited when I receive comments or private messages. I’ve tried to break up with Facebook and it hasn’t lasted, which you can read here.
But I’d like more meaningful connections in my life. I think you do too.
- I want to be there for friends more than for ‘Facebook’.
- I want to be likable in life more than I ‘like’ posts.
- I want to talk to people at church more than I tweet on Twitter.
- I want to chat with coworkers more than I Snapchat.
- I want to listen to a friend more than I list my skills on LinkedIn.
I want to be real. I look for ways to do that in person and online. I don’t always get it right, but when I do, it always benefits my friendships.