Friends #1 – what got me thinking was ‘Facebook'

Social networking is what they say is one of the purposes of Facebook. So when I veeerrryyy reluctantly joined, it was only as a ‘keeping in touch’ tool with a group of new friends from different places in Europe & the US… & only because Facebook was the chosen medium to do so.

What does that MEAN, social networking? I labor over that. Does it involve meaningful connections, virtually created, ala internet, using the fact that I ‘know’ someone for something that profits me, or merely a panacea that only serves to assuage the burning human need for real connections…?

Ok, I kind of get it – it helps us keep in touch with people we knew in high school &/or have interacted with over the years of life… BUT, for me, being friends is something I take seriously – it means something significant to me, more than a ‘social networking contract,’ something that can be put down as easy as clicking a mouse.

For example, I take time & really contemplate before ‘accepting’ a friend request… thinking, “Am I this person’s friend in real life? Would I/have I hung with them, drank a cup of joe, & shot the breeze? Shared deep thoughts? Pondered the complexities of life?” And depending on the answer to that internal debate, I have clicked CONFIRM. Or IGNORE.

There’ve been times where I overrode my gut & CONFIRMED when I think to be true to me & to not gloss over the reality of my relationship (or lack thereof) would have totally been to IGNORE. And then what? Fake it? Be ‘nice’ & carry on with surface level pleasantries once every blue moon, all the while ignoring the reality that if I saw my ‘friend’ in a store, I don’t think we’d interact. Perhaps that’s too mercenary, too serious, or just melodramatic – be that as it may, it’s led to a renewed contemplation of friendship & what makes it special…

BTW: I’m not going to rehash my BOUNDARIES posts here, though I may allude to them… –as I think they are really applicable to this topic (& any other that deals with relationships & interpersonal interactions.) Just know that the Cloud & Townsend info is a big part of the background of my thought processes.


And so it begins… I thought that my outlining would help my writing not be rambling & all over the place, but it turns out that rambling may be in the eye of the beholder. No matter – I’m going to lay out my friendship ‘givens’ – signs of a good friendship. Warning signs of a bad one. Assessing motivation in developing relationships. Looking to get from God what can only be gotten from God. And maybe some other stuff.

Coming up next: Signs, signs, everywhere the signs…

15 launchings into the blogosphere....:

laura said...

The whole facebook thing is pretty funny to me. I have been thinking recently about weeding out people that I really don't consider "friends". The bad part is that I "confirmed" so many "friends" so that I could look through their profiles, see pictures of their spouse and kids and see what they are up too, but have no desire to have any sort of dialogue with them. I am thinking that is the wrong motive....and just being nosey. The other funny thing is the people I interact with the most on these social networking sites are the ones that live closest to me... and don't necessitate an online relationship:)
okay, i think thats enough now...

RandomSue said...

I'm the same way Louie, I think confirming someone on FB as a friend when they really are not a friend is somehow wrong. I am not afraid to weed non friends out and I am not afraid to hit "ignore" but I still find myself bowing to the pressure at times and confirming someone that I could really give a rats ass about. I'm still working on this boundry thing.

Jeni said...

I do not use facebook, but I do have a Myspace (UGH, I hate that I have a myspace) which I acquired for similar reasons. But since I don't blog on myspace, I don't weed people out as much. If people that I knew/know want to look at my almost non-existent profile, I'm not going to stop them-- there's nothing personal there. My real friends know about and have access to my blog, and that's kind of my way of weeding...

I looke forward to your sign post. He he he... I mean signs post. :)

noel said...

Friends is a great topic Louie, I am glad this is the one you decided to talk about first on your list of blog topics. First, I think you give wayyyyy too much thought on the approve/disapprove via the internet "friend". This is a world that is new and very detached and not necessarily where you are going to get back in contact with a friend that has changed your life forever although if you are so lucky to get that chance, you should take it. For me there are levels of friendship that I don't want to take up your whole comment section with and therefore hi-jack your blog, but I will say this over the years I have come to see that those old cliches are really true. some friends are life changers and others not so much but every encounter friend or otherwise is something to take into consideration as God placed and to be learned from.
can't wait to hear more of your thoughts.

TPluckyT said...

Laura - Facebook stalking as it were?

Random Sue - Weeding out your own husband from your friends list is not cricket . . .

Jeni - Dump MySpace and join the cool group immediately (insert Jedi mind trick here).

Noel - Strangers are just friends we haven't met yet . . . Except on the Internet it might get a little dicey . . .

ScoeyD - Good series . . . I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts . . .

scoey-d said...

Laura - hmmm. Curious George, you are.

RS - as am I. As am I.

Jeni - and it's just for me.

No..El - maybe I do give way too much thought. Or not enough. But thinking deep thoughts & meaning of life stuff seem to be one of the characteristics that I really like about me, so I guess I will be ok with that.

tpt - individual commenter you are. I thinks you have thoughts.

Jason said...

nothing like a good friend inventory. mine's a short list. friend is synonymous with family to me. if you're loyal and trustworhty, then you are my family. if you're not loyal and trusworhty, there's a good chance i have a fence you must stay behind.

noel said...

i really like those traits about you as well louie, don't mean to sound like i don't by that comment. it just made me laugh how different we are me and you when it comes to that box- check yes or no- for me unless it's a crazy stalker person chances are i am checking yes and ya know that crazy stalker person my husband would say was me once many moons ago so i might even check yes on that one too- good or bad i dunno.

Jeni said...

Ha ha, love plucky's blog hijack!

I'm with Noel on the probably say yes to everybody on that forum...

And plucky-- since I'd say blogspot is the cool group, I'm already there.

laura said...

When I first was reading plucky's comment, I had to double check and see what blog I was on. I thought it was his for a minute:)

TPluckyT said...

Friends share . . . That's my thoughts . . .

laura said...

plucky- that is pretty vague... friends share???? what?
blogs?
ideas?
thoughts?
wives?
dessert?
I think you should be a bit more specific in that comment.

David said...

Social networking? More like social currency.

TPluckyT said...

I meant "blogs" in a feeble attempt at linking to the "hijack" comments in a humorous way . . .

laura said...

I know that... I was giving you a hard time:)