Who’s your friend?
First of all, I want to say sorry to all 579 friends of mine. Please read all the way through before you delete me as your Facebook (FB) friend. One night I really needed a friend and no one came to mind so I logged onto FB to browse my friends list. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t think of my one, two, or three best friends names when I needed them. I mean, heck, I have hundreds of friends. Surely browsing them would trigger to memory that really good friend I could trust. You know, the one I meet for lunch frequently, the one who takes my calls at midnight when I am crying… you know, that friend!
So, I logged into FB to help my foggy memory. It must be because I am in so much distress that I can’t think of her name and the fact that it is so late at night. As I began looking at all 579 of my friends faces and names I begin to eliminate the obvious ones who I can’t call. Those would be the friends that I met online because we have a friend in common and we said hi to each other once at an event. Then I eliminated the ones who I met through various organizations and fundraisers. They are more networking type friends. You know who you are. Then I eliminated the ones who found me because we have strong interests and we heard of each other but may have never met. They mostly live in other states and other countries.
All of a sudden I am now down to a much smaller number of friends to browse through. I just eliminated most of my FB friends not because they don’t care or aren’t trust worthy but because they are mostly acquaintances or strangers who I never met but who I “know.” I felt a little sad, but I still had some more friends to go through. So I kept digging for that one who I meet with frequently, cry with, and call all the time like a stalker!! LOL!!
The next batch I eliminated had their purpose in my past. They were and are still great people. Our kids may have spent a few years playing with each other when they were younger. Some I met at gymnastics class or a youth basketball game. We have all moved on and have went our separate ways, but we stay connected on FB to keep up with whose kid is graduating from high school and becoming married. I was reminded of good times and nice memories as I browsed through their profiles briefly.
Now it’s another hundred friends eliminated and I’m down to the nitty-gritty. The next batch of people I have met recently and interact with on at least a monthly basis give or take. These are the people I have volunteered with in the recent past or the present. They are great to be around. They are funny, they make me laugh, and I feel welcomed around them. But, I realized I do not spend any time with them outside our weekly or monthly volunteer duties. None of them are that one great friend that I call at midnight, play trivia crack all night with, go to a random movie with, or crash at their home when I need a shoulder to cry on. So I pass by them and then realize I am at the bottom of my list of friends.
There is not one FB friend left.
“That can’t be right?” I think to myself. “Where did she go? Surely, I had a few really good friends. I am on FB everyday! I like peoples posts, I make sweet or funny comments. Others comment on my post. I feel a lot of love on FB from ALL my friends at one time or another. Where is that one I spend so much time with? Where is that one that knows me deeply? Where is that one who can look at my face when I am smiling from ear to ear and know that I am in so much pain and agony? Nothing gets by this friend! She knows me inside and out!
That is when it hit me. I have spent so much time hiding behind FB, volunteering in places all over the community, raising funds in order to help others who are in need; that I neglected to invest in friends for myself. I sunk down in my seat. “How did that happen?”
Over a period of time, it didn’t happen over night, I decided that I needed to come out of the closet a little bit and stop hiding. I needed to be vulnerable and go to lunch with someone and the conversation can’t be about anti-trafficking or what fundraiser to do next. I thought of people who may have been trying to be more than a FB friend and maybe I didn’t notice at the time. I began with them. I have been working on this for a while and it has been hard for me but I think it is working. I actually stopped at a friends house unannounced the other day for the first time! I felt so friendly!! LOL!!! But what really mattered was I knew it was okay and that this person really cares about me.
So, what is my point!
I wanted to share this with you because I feel FB puts on a facade that we have so many friends and when we actually need one there may not be one that we can trust because we haven’t actually invested ourselves intimately in others lives. These FB friends we have are valuable and full of great people but I learned that I actually need to pick up the phone and say HI sometimes instead of clicking my mouse on the LIKE button. So I challenge you today to take a good look at your FB friends. Are any of them someone you would call in a crisis or stop over unexpectedly? If so? Then you have learned the art of making friends and aren’t hiding behind a screen or too busy trying to “do” for others all the time. You actually are being vulnerable with a few trusted people.
And if you can’t find that friend? Pick one that you see around a lot, one who has the same values as you, and one who has a friendly smile. Get their number. Go out to lunch. Maybe this will be the start of the relationship God intended for you; a friend to stand with you, cry with you, and laugh with you.
And to that friend who allowed me to pop in unexpectedly? I love you!!!! And I will be calling very very soon!