“While friendship has been by far the chief source of my happiness, acquaintance or general society has always meant little to me, and I cannot quite understand why a man should wish to know more people than he can make real friends of.”
― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
I was talking to an acquaintance recently and out of nowhere this person happened to mention the number of Facebook friends they had as a sort of bragging point…. awkward moment to say the least!
On another occasion…I found myself being fascinated almost enamored by how wonderful a certain person made them-self appear but when given time,their actions and lack of faithfulness in the simple things “in real life” truly suggested differently from the online perfecto persona that was portrayed!
This made me think,..does virtual friendships even count as real ones? Does a social media friend really know the real you or just the modified, glorified version you decide to reveal?
I must admit that making new friends(real, actual human beings and not the virtual kind) was a goal I had for myself year after year because it did not come naturally for me….So naturally, I thought it be best to force the issue, whatever trait is lacking usually suggests itself as the trait to concentration on, oui?… until I asked myself the question why?
How many friends do I really need? Am I in danger of loneliness or isolation? Am I a good friend to the ones I do have?
In complete honesty, and because numbers mean something, I can say that I have 4 really close friends. And to be real, it’s all I need and can maintain.
I’m not saying that social media doesn’t have a valid place especially when reconnecting with family and friends across the miles! I do think it necessary to define it’s value in your life and use it for what it’s worth to you!
A few weeks ago I decided to cut my overwhelming fb friend list to a little over 100 friends and out of that list I receive updates from less than 40. Silencing the noise so to speak. And it’s been refreshing, a healthy cleansing. And what has changed the most has been..well…. ME….interestingly, I find that my interactions have been more real..more me..my shrunken audience is one that I don’t need to impress so I DON’T find myself living with the need or urgency to post a tidbit of my life to validate its worth!
Here’s to silencing the noise and being a true friend in every sense of the word ‘true”!
“I’m not about to die for love of my reflection any time soon, but social networking does seem to amplify my narcissistic tendencies.” Newsweek