Sunday, September 1, 2013

Let's Be Friends

In this day and age of social media the term "friends" has become overused, less meaningful and just plain boring. What does it mean to have over 1000 friends online? Or to have less than 60? Does it make you any more or less of a person? Any more or less "cool"?

I've come to look at social media as a place to air our, and others', dirty laundry. A place where we can find people that care, even if just for a brief moment in time (enough to type "so sorry to hear" or "like" your status or repost), about what is going on in our life, what our struggles are, what our beliefs are, what our celebrations are. In reality though, how many of those "friends" would stop their world for more than a brief moment in time, more than long enough to click "like" and pick up the phone or stop by to see how things really are? Maybe send a text and make sure you are okay or to congratulate you and ask a few more questions than would be appropriate on the "public domain".

I admit, I'm guilty of all of these non-interactive interactions that are available with the technology out there today. I try not to make use of them too often but I find it easier to communicate through writing/typing than through talking. I used to write letters…with a *gasp* pen and paper to convey my thoughts and emotions to those I care about in my life. Now it has been reduced to short snippets here and there via texting or a "like" and a "share" to let others know that I agree with what they agree with, which someone else waaaaaaay down the electronic line came up with. Granted a lot of the sayings that are shared have become important to me and they are used in my screen saver to remind me of things that I forget to tell myself.

This blog has become my journal of sorts to share with the online world. Like I've said before, I'm not sure who reads it, if anyone at all does, but that doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is that I have put my heart out on the line to share my ideas, my feelings, my thoughts and parts of my life with others. It may be electronic and impersonal in a way but that in itself makes it easier for me to share. That also seems to make it easier for people to be bullies and to be bullied. But that's a whole other sensitive topic in itself.

I am going to reflect on my "friendships" and not feel guilty about unfriending people that aren't real in my life. I personally like to keep my friends under 100 and I am still careful about what I share these days, mores than in the past. Once it's out there on the inter web, it's out there forever, for all to see, even if you have the strictest privacy settings.  There will always be prying eyes that will take your words and construe them, take your thoughts and turn them against you. To call these people "friends" is a mis-statement.

So if you want to be friends, let's be friends. Let's be REAL friends.  The kind that get together every once in awhile (online if the distance is far) and shoot the shit, talk about real stuff and feel real feelings.  And maybe we won't have a lot of time for each other but we will know that the time we do have for each other is important. And in between those get togethers, if either of our worlds should fall apart, we will know that a simple phone call to hear the other's real voice on the end of the line, when we might feel at the end of our line, could make all the difference.

Thank you to all of my REAL friends for helping me when I was at the end of my line and thank you for the future moments when you will keep me from the end of my line.

Be love, my friends.

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