“How many Facebook friends do you have”?
This was the question that an acquaintance asked me a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure why she was asking and I honestly was not sure how many people I have “friended” on Facebook. When I told her I wasn’t sure, but thought it was about 100 or so, she was SHOCKED!!! What followed her look of horror shocked me even more. “Well, I have over a 1,000 friends!!! You are so sociable, Liz, I would have thought you would have more friends than that.”
Yes… I am sociable. Yes, I log on to my Facebook account frequently, but I never thought that it was socially necessary to compare ‘friend numbers’. It was like Junior High all over again!! You aren’t ‘cool’ unless you have 1,000 Facebook friends and post EVERYTHING that you do online. When you woke up, what you’re wearing, where you are going from the moment your feet hit the floor to the time you close your eyes again that night.
We post to connect, but do we really know HOW to genuinely connect when we’d rather text than talk?
I have many Facebook ‘friends’ that I’ve met only once and bonded with them over a particular thing, but honestly, I’m not sure if I would REALLY consider them my ‘friends’. I have childhood friends that I’ve reconnected with on social networking sites that chat with me from time to time, but in a crisis, they are NOT who I turn to. That realization got me thinking. Why don’t I turn to these people, the ‘FB Friends’ that comment of my status updates and pictures? Why NOT them? And furthermore, if everybody is your BFF… is anybody your BFF? It seems to me that we throw this term around too often and too soon. We have lost the true meaning of what friends are and why it is vital to our health and well being to have close friends.
Are the 100’s (or 1,000’s) of ‘FB Friends’ the people who you trust or weather a crisis with? If they knew you were sick and/or needed help, would you hear from them other than the quick, easy comment of, “I’m here for ya, girl!”?
What is a REAL friend? What do honest and raw friendships bring to you and your life? Why should every person have an inner circle of people?
Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deed”
We all know that having friends is a good thing. It’s fact. It’s scientifically proven that persons with a solid group of friends:
*Are happier as they age
* Utilize friendships as a willpower booster to fulfill their goals
* Pull from their friends’ happiness to help fill their own happy tank
*Navigate through stress and grief with more success
*Forging bonds and connections strengthens your immune system
So, having honest friendships based on mutual respect and love, can only help you live longer, happier, and healthier lives!! Who knew?!?!
I know that having a close group of friends have helped me get through some very hard times in my life, and I knew what I loved about my friends and why they are my friends, but I asked others what they look for in their “Wolfpacks”.
This is what they said:
• “They stick by your side when your grouchy, would do anything for you, etc. Unconditional Love!- Meg
• “A true friend accepts you unconditionally- your strengths and weaknesses. They are the person with whom you are your true YOU. They truly listen and have your back!- Robyn
• “If you call a person at 2 am and they not only answer the phone, but offer to come over. That’s a true friend.- Joanna
• “When you arrive at someone’s door, and by the time you set your bags down your others friends are pulling into her driveway.- Amy
• “If you cannot imagine life without them.”- Noel
• “If you would rather lose a relationship than their friendship, that’s how you know”.- Beth
• “They know what you need and will move heaven and earth to get if for you, even when you deny that you need it.”- Cathy
• “A true friend will tell you when you really should NOT wear what you *think* looks fabulous on you.”- Kim
• “A true friend is humble. A true friendship cannot last if built upon a foundation of pride, boasting or competition. So the communication between true friends needs to be generously sprinkled with humility; cheering each other on during your successes and comforting each other during time of loss.’- Susanna
• “A true friend finds a way to replace your tears with laughter. Especially when you ‘Ugly Cry’.”- Dawn
• “A real friend would never make you feel bad about yourself, your dreams, or your fears.”- Liz
Friends are what you need. In good times and bad… In sickness and health…Till death do you part. Yes, all the vows that go into marriage translate here as well. Life is hard and even harder without your friends holding you up when you need it most. I say, don’t fall for the trap that everyone is your BFF, because, unfortunately, not everyone is. Truth be told, only when the chips are down do we find out who is going to stick around.
Don't just gather numbers.
Gather pillars of strength. Ones that hold you up when your heart and faith are weak. Ones that raise you higher when it is your time to shine. Ones that will be strong with you or for you. Ones that make you want to be better to yourself. For yourself. And there is no contest of numbers for that, although you DO reap the rewards.
I know I do…