What Facebook Taught Me About Friendship

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What Facebook Taught Me About Friendship

  I will be the first to admit that social media has gotten out of control. There are folks who have absolutely no filter in place and feel free, or even entitled, to express every thought that enters their brain. People are talking about things on which they have no knowledge. They are posting things that would make their grandmothers blush. People are sharing stories that are not theirs to share. Things have gotten somewhat crazy, y’all.   In the midst of it all, however, there is some good. As I think about my use of Facebook, I realize that it has actually taught me some important lessons on friendship. It has opened my eyes to what friendship is and what it is not. And it has opened my heart to who can and can not be a friend.  

  1. We miss out on potential friendships all. the. time. Right now, I am Facebook friends with lots of folks from my high school(s.) Sometimes, it makes me laugh because I was the perpetually awkward girl for most of those years. I had good friendship qualities, but no one saw them. They could not see beyond the shy, insanely insecure girl. Now, I interact with them on Facebook and think, “Gosh, we could have been great friends back then.” I’m not letting myself off the hook either. There are other people who I remember being on the fringes with me and I never attempted to befriend them. Now, I hear their stories and know that I was the one who missed out. All those years, I longed for true friendship and, perhaps, God had put them right in front of me. If you are longing for deeper friendships, take a moment and look around. It could be that you are simply not seeing them.
  2. There is no place for {constant} negativity. For the longest time, I allowed a lot of negativity in my Facebook feed. It wasn’t directed at me, mind you, but it was there. One person complaining about this. Another person angry about that. Everyone with an opinion about everything. Seriously, it was exhausting. Now, I am not one to “unfriend” people. I am, however, a firm believer in using the “unfollow” feature. Yes, you are welcome to your every opinion. I just do not need to read them all. The same is true in our real life friendships. We, sometimes, allow unnecessary negativity into our lives. It drains our spirits. Now, for most of us, there does not need to be a formal breakup. This isn’t seventh grade and we aren’t going steady. We would do well, however, to unfollow a few folks. Put boundaries around the negative.
  3. Friendship requires effort and time. I went through a season where I was obsessed with social media. I was fascinated by what y’all were wearing and eating for breakfast. {Don’t even pretend like you weren’t the same way.} I wanted to check in all the time because things change so quickly. If I did not participate and interact, then folks drifted away. I think we all have people on our Facebook friend list that we have not actually interacted with in forever. Even internet relationships require some intentional effort on our part. Real life friendships need time and effort to develop into the deep, meaningful relationships we crave. Set up a regular coffee date with a friend. Put it on the calendar and do not miss it. Don’t let the friends God has put into your life drift away because of neglect.

  People are attempting to satisfy their soul’s longings with superficial relationships. It will never work. We were made for deeper things. Yes, I want to see what you made for dinner. But I also want to know what keeps you awake at night. I love seeing the pictures of your vacation. But I also want to know how I can pray for you. Because I want us to be friends – like honest to goodness, we know where the bodies are buried but we will never tell, will drive to your house in the middle of the night to hold you while you cry, know your favorite ice cream kind of friends.

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