What is a Friend? {Day 21}

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I’m so excited.  I’ve written and posted for 21 day!  I know my posts haven’t been anything exciting or amazing, but just the fact that I’ve written something every day here makes me happy.  I’ve always said I post more to get my thoughts out of my head than I do to grow my blog, or to please others.  If you enjoy reading then it’s a bonus. Pleeeeeeeease, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy you’re here, but I refuse to get caught up in blog-mania.  I refuse to spend endless hours trying to increase my traffic, posting pictures that you can pin, quotes that you can tweet, etc.  I will not get sucked into the people pleasing mode on my blog.  (Isn’t there enough of THAT going around in other places?)

I also refuse to get involved in more than one social media outlet and as dinosaurish as Facebook is, that’s where I’m at.  But that’s not really what this post is about…

Or is it?

Hmmmm.

Facebook friends.

Sounds like a great place to start.

1000 “friends”

Are all of those people really friends?

I doubt it.

acquaintances?

Maybe.

And maybe even some are not even that.  Maybe some are people that we barely know, or who we crossed paths with for a season. Or maybe they’re celebrities that we’d LIKE to know and somehow we feel like we do because we’re Facebook friends with them.

Please forgive me if this is harsh, but can you say FAKE?

Don’t get me wrong, I have a few celebs who I’m “friends” with and it’s fun to see what they’re up to; but that doesn’t make be bosom buddies with them.  It makes me like 586,891 other people who “like” them.

Or maybe we’re friends with people we’ve never met in real life, but somehow they’ve crossed our lives and we’ve been blessed by them.  So we “friend” them.  I have some of these kind of “friends”   I haven’t ever met these people in real life but  I feel a special bond with them.  Some of them that I’m excited to meet some day, even if it’s in heaven while we’re praising Jesus for eternity.

Or maybe, they’re long distance family and friends and Facebook somehow brings the miles closer and it actually strengthens those relationships.  I believe that is more the exception than the rule, but it does happen.

Shane says Facebook is a good place for people “to tell you how wonderful their life is when it’s falling apart in shambles, but we don’t want anyone to think we’re terrible people so we post the good stuff, etc., etc., etc.”

Yes, that’s a tongue in cheek description…sort of.

We most definitely shouldn’t be airing our dirty laundry for all of our 859 closest friends to see, but we shouldn’t be presenting ourselves as perfect little Jesus lovers whose poo don’t stink either.  Because it does. (Unless you have some of that real life poopouri that you spray in the toilet bowl to cover up the smell…then I guess maybe yours doesn’t stink).

Facebook is a great place to keep up with people who you’re interested in keeping up with.  It’s a great place to get updates when tragedy strikes. It’s a fun place to post pictures, to be involved in Online Bible Studies or book releases, or FB parties for the latest MLM product (but even that is nearing the point of ridiculous).  But it’s not a replacement for real, true life friends.

Is there an obligation to be “friends” with someone who sends you a request?  I don’t think so. We aren’t friends with everyone we meet in real life,  We aren’t even acquaintances with everyone we ever meet, so why would we be Facebook “friends” with everyone who asks?

Is it okay to “unfriend” people?   I think so.  There is no obligation to remain friends with people that have come into your life, so why is Facebook different?

Personally, I’d rather have good old fashion face to face time over a cup of coffee instead of Facebook time where we all sit in front of a computer screen (a newer version of the “glowing blue box”) and pretend we are perfect and are “friends” with 999 people.

On a side note: I wish that Mark Zuckerberg and his buddies had decided to call it something else.  Friend is an intimate word.  It implies a close relationship and that’s not what Facebook is or does.  I remember back to a conversation that one of my (real)  friends and I had as Facebook was up and coming.  She described it something like an opportunity to pop in and say hello.  That was a GREAT way to explain it, and it still is.

Have a wonderfully blessed Tuesday y’all!

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