Facebook friends' maturity
Social media is no longer the new thing. With tools like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and the whole new crop of meme/picture based sharing tools.. times are not just changing. They have changed. Denial of this reality is naive and stupid, but so is blindly charging into a complex toolset of communications without carefully considering the impact on your day to day life and adjusting accordingly.
On FB, I am connected to people from elementary school, high school, college, as well as the many facets of my life from churches, to vocations, to neighbors. On FB, they are my friends, but in reality most are little more than acquaintances.
FB allows me to do some important things as I collaborate in life.. communicate in mass volumes, building broad but shallow networks and maintaing connections with colleagues and friends from old times, and old lives. It is critical that I remember that these connections are just that... connections. Allowing them to flow in and out of my life like a tide, with the appropriate amount of attention is a sign of discipline, awareness... maturity. Recognizing and investing my precious life time in them is likely foolish. That time should be invested in family. In my book, family includes my "true" friends.
My true friends are there for me in the good and the bad... knowing that I am both, just as they are. They are a treasure to be cherished. not achieved through the click of a mouse, or posting of a picture.. but instead through shared trials and tribulations... common goals, journeys, and outlooks... and perhaps most important of all, the ability to recognized and perceive value in one anothers' differences.. rather than some media driven fog of political correctness.
Use Facebook, enjoy the debates, and learn from colleagues and acquaintances. Don't be afraid to Hide/Unfriend some and don't be offended of you are hidden or unfriended. True friends would never do such a thing. It is naive and self absorbed to think that we could have so many "true" friends. Sociology and practicality has long told us otherwise.
Fame and Influence are important in our world, but they are not friendship.