One thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven. That’s the number of “friends” Facebook tells me that I have.
On one hand, it brings joy to my heart. There are 1,837 people that are connected to me on Facebook.
The other hand feels sadness. A longing for intimate relationships that I don’t get from Facebook.
Do you have these conflicting thoughts too? One of glee and happiness. One that makes you feel so joyous because you’re connected to SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people.
And then reality smacks you upside your head and tells you that you really don’t have as many friends as Facebook tells you you do?
Facebook Has Messed Up The Truth Of Friendship
Something odd has happened over the last 12 years since Facebook was created. Our view of friendship has gone from those we’re close to and morphed into a catch-all term for everyone and anyone we’re acquaintances we’re with.
You quickly call that person you met at a business meetup a friend. Or maybe it’s someone you briefly chatted with on the phone and felt like you needed to friend them on Facebook.
Friendship has been messed up by Facebook and other forms of social media.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, your blog (or this blog), instant messaging, or even text messaging. All of these forms of communications has redefined friendship.
And not in a positive way.
How Facebook Has Left Me Feeling Empty
Whoa! That’s a loaded statement, isn’t it Joe? I don’t think so.
That statement is the truth.
Whenever I look at my number of Facebook friends, I feel empty. I know there’s something missing.
My life doesn’t have 1,837 close friends. I have a handful.
My true number of friends don’t stack up to what Facebook tells me I have. Or should have.
Instead, I have a close-knit group of people I love to call friends.
I can call them in my time of need. I can shoot them a text message asking for prayer. Heck, I can even ask for them to come over and just be with me and most of them will.
That can’t be said for those friends on Facebook. They’re great people, don’t get me wrong. But 1,837 people won’t come over to my house on my request.
And I shouldn’t expect it. But, for some reason, Facebook has fooled me into thinking that I should.
That’s what has left me feeling empty.
What I’m Doing About The Empty Feeling
You’ve probably been tricked into feeling the same way. You feel like your friendships aren’t true. That you don’t have the friendships you need to have.
I’m putting my foot down today. I’m saying “No more!”
There’s a choice we can make. We can choose to lament over the false sense of friendship social media and the internet has given us.
Or we can choose to move forward and cultivate the friendships we have.
So, that’s what I’m going to do from this day forward. I’m going to no longer put so much stock in the numbers of my Facebook page. Instead, I’m going to count the number of real friends I have.
The ones I know I can call on in my time of need. The ones I can call when I just want to talk.
You can make the choice too. Get over the fact that Facebook has lied to you.
Make a decision that there are people in your life who matters. And you have to develop those friendships like you’ve been trying so hard to do on Facebook.
Pick up the phone and call someone. Ask your best friend out to dinner. Hang out at the movies with someone close to you.
Don’t let your friendships suffer. Work on them. Make them something special.
Question: Do you struggle with the chasm between Facebook friends and real friends? What are you going to do to change that? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below.
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