All of the sudden this noun we’ve known all our lives is now a verb. It’s something we do. We “friend” people. Acquaintances, family members we haven’t seen for years and some we’ve never even met, complete strangers……
Thanks to Facebook everyone can now be our friends.
But have we lost the art of true friendship? Or have we assumed that everyone is our friend?
Here’s how I break down who gets to be my Facebook friends:
First of all, remember how I told you that Facebook is like my living room?
Well, there’s a reason for that. If I wouldn’t have a person over to sit on my couch, visit with my family and just be my normal, real self with them then they have absolutely no business being on my friend list. Facebook is about trust and sharing. You simply cannot allow anyone and everyone through your front door without some careful considerations.
1. I only friend people I know. Now, I realize that would seem to be a given but take it from me, there are hundreds of thousands of people who will ask to be friends with people they’ve never met and a lot of those people will accept friend requests from those they don’t know. Sometimes it’s a numbers thing- the more you have , the more popular you appear?? I have no idea. Other times, people are naive and too trusting to believe that there are just weirdos out there. If you don’t know them personally, do not accept a friend request.
2. I do have one person on my friend list who I’ve never met in person. That is a rarity. And only because he’s a friend of friends. But I have had 2 other “friends” on Facebook who I have since met in person- family. And we have built close friendships because of Facebook so it can happen.
3. Just because someone shares the same heredity or last name does not automatically qualify them to be FAcebook friends. In the early days, I had very few friends and family on Facebook so I accepted all requests from family. It soon became evident to me that some of my family do not value trust, privacy, respect and common sense on Facebook so they were eventually defriended(we’ll talk about that tomorrow). I have absolutely no problem with ignoring friend requests from family. I don’t feel guilty about it and neither should you.
4. Some people I haven’t seen in years due to distance and circumstances , I have come to renew friendships with via Facebook . This is one of the very cool advantages of Facebook.
5. High school associations are not a free pass to Facebook friendships. I used to have a dozen or more friends from school on my friend list but I soon realized I had nothing in common and some of those “friends” were still living in 1988 with some of their attitudes and life choices. It made me uncomfortable and so I knocked that list down to about 3.
6. A friend is someone who makes you better and pours into your life. A friend is someone with whom you can have a positive affect on as well. There are mutual benefits, otherwise there is no point.
7. Friends are trustworthy. Gossips and backstabbers have no business being on a friend list.
8. The one with the most friends wins??? No. Actually, it has been proven that it is nearly impossible to have close, intimate relationships with more than 20 people. This is probably why in any given week I get comments, inbox messages and general back and forth banter from 12-18 people at most. That is just the human nature. My friend list is at 146 and I feel it is just pushing the boundaries for almost too many. Keep it intimate and you will find your friendships are deeper and fuller.
Proverbs 27:17 is a good guideline for friendships:
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
Last year’s 31 days to REdeeming Christmas post: Kindness Bombing