‘Guess what! I’ve got 274 friends on Facebook! How many have you got?’
I was in the supermarket when I heard two teenagers talking.
I smiled to myself as I walked away and thought about what I’d been reading over on Zen Habits.
Leo Babauta was writing about ‘De-cluttering’ and I realised that his attitude to getting rid of ‘stuff’ we neither need, want or enjoy could be applied to the people in our lives, particularly friends.
What is all this about having so many ‘friends’ on Face Book?
It seems to me to be a very clever way to increase isolation and loneliness.
Why do I think this?
- Most of these ‘friends’ will remain cyber acquaintances. We’ll never meet for real, simply chat on line.
- There aren’t enough hours in each day to talk to them about more than superficial things.
- How can you retain a friendship when you can only chat for a few minutes before moving on to the next person?
Perhaps I just don’t get it.
But I realised that we do need to think about how and why we acquire our friends and how many people we can call ‘friends’.
Here’s my Positive Spin on How to Lose Friends and Feel Great About It.
- Don’t rush in.
It’s so easy to do! You’re on holiday, you meet someone/a couple/whatever and you hang out with them. You meet for meals, sit with them in the bar/on the beach/wherever, and very soon you’re exchanging addresses. And what happens? After a few emails or perhaps phone calls, the friendship grinds to a halt.
Because what you had in common was … you were on holiday together… and that’s about it.
- Think… does this ‘friend’ add or take away from your life?
When they call you, does your heart sink? Do they always want something from you or do they invite you to join them for a meal/ask how you’re doing/offer to help when you need it?
So… why are they still on your ‘friends list’?
- Step away from the phone.
Who gets in touch with who?
If you’re not sure whether to keep contact with this person,
See how long it is before they contact you.
How important to you, is contact with them?
So… are they still on your ‘friends list’?
Some people collect friends like other people collect DVDs. Perhaps it boosts their self-esteem to believe they’re ‘popular’ (whatever that means…). But, as with the DVDs lining your shelves, if they don’t add anything to your life, why keep them? When I know I won’t watch a DVD again it goes to the charity shop… along with the books I won’t read again.
Are you cluttering up your life with too many ‘friends’ who add nothing to your life?
Far better to focus on nurturing a ‘few’ than being superficial with the ‘many’,( especially on Facebook in my view.)
‘Aristotle said, ‘A friendship is essentially a partnership.’
How many true friends do you have? Honestly?
What’s your view of Facebook as a tool for real friendship?