Critical Decisions About A Real Friend
I have made some important decisions lately. Last night, I was thinking about what a real friend is and the value of keeping my Facebook account.
As I considered my values, I realized that Facebook and social media in general has so cheapened the concept of a real friend. But, I also realized that I am involved in some private groups that I feel I should continue to be involved with. They mainly involve ministries that I have been apart of or created. I still have not worked out how I will switch to a different social media platform to stay connected with my real friends. Overall, still, I evaluated whether or not I would still consider them my friends, real friends. I talk to real friends without arguing or name calling whether on the phone, through text or private message. I decided that most of these people, share the majority of my values and I would still love to keep in touch with them in some way.
This year has been particularly difficult in so many lives. People get SO upset, and as a result, get upset at each other. They don’t only debate fairly. They call each other names and hate on each other if someone else does not have the same view as they do. This also carries over to the cancel culture and not only do we feel that we can’t write what we feel we should, we feel we can’t even carry our views in real life situations that are not on social media. We have become a land that is help captive by hate. People have even begun fighting and rioting in the streets and physically hurting others because we can’t listen to each other.
What is a Real Friend?
I began looking at who my real friends are. Before computers and the world of social media, and this thing we call “friends”, which often really are not. Would a friend take a look at a picture or something I accomplished and say NOTHING? If I praised them, would they say NOTHING? If it was my birthday or anniversary and I told them, would they say nothing? Then why do I consider them my friend?
I want real friends, real relationships. I want friends that will send me pictures, that will write me or call me, regardless of what way. If they don’t or won’t, they are NOT what I want as a real friend. They may not be my enemies, but they certainly are not my friends. I wonder why I am spending so much time then, looking through social media at all their stuff and hoping that they “like” or comment on something when they really don’t. For me, that hurts. I want friends to be involved in my life and want me involved in their lives.
I like to learn from people and organizations and groups. For that reason, I continue growing from them and supporting them, just like I think they would appreciate my support.
What a Friend is NOT
This year, I was on Twitter. I gave my opinion. Several people harassed me and started calling me names because I didn’t subscribe to the group think that was common in that group. These are not real friends and certainly didn’t represent the person whose post I commented on! I lost so much respect for that person and for the people she surrounded herself with. As a result, I will NEVER, have an account with Twitter again!!!!
I regularly see on the news, people lying, censoring both on Facebook and on Twitter, when people do not like what they have to say. This truthfully, is the beginning of Socialism. Socialism seeks to control people and they begin by telling people what they can communicate to others. This does not honor the freedom of speech and/or freedom of the press that we are told we have in our Constitution.
So What Do I Do?
I will continue modifying my Facebook account and considering what is good or not good for me to be involved in. I want to stay connected with friends and family that I love dearly. As more options open up, I will be transitioning Parler and MeWe. It is such a shame that what seemed to be a good opportunity to be connected, has turned into such a mess. People have even gone to such extents as to believe all that they hear on Facebook. They don’t look for real truth. I find this to be so wrong and a shame as well. It is dividing families, it is dividing people in general and certainly is dividing our country. Would you take some time and evaluate what is important and what you say and believe? I think this would change you and others.
I’ve all but abandoned social media. At first, my FB friends were mostly just close friends and family. The list grew as others invited me as their friend. I just liked keeping up with folks that I don’t see any more. But people started using it to express political opinions, argue and just be nasty. After a few months of COVID with “friends” shaming friends and virtue signaling, I deleted most of my “friends”. I only keep my FB account for 2 reasons: I still keep up with some family that way, and I want to see what Zuckerberg’s crew is up to.
The way you described the meaning of friendship has a great significant in modern life. It is a great writing .
I have no use for Twitter. But I’m an activist for petitions on Change.org. Any petition you sign can be sent to all your Facebook “friends”. Whether they are real friends or no, they might be interested in those petitions and even donate funds to causes that you are passionate about.
Thank you for sharing about Change.org
Social media personalities remind me of those who get behind the wheel and then behave more boldly – at least verbally – than they would if standing face-to-face with the offending driver. The protective bubble of the surrounding glass allows a driver to say whatever is on his/her mind without consequence (excepting an incident of road rage). So it is with social media. Though I have been a member of the FB community and more recently Instagram, their activities neither consume my time nor significantly alter my veiws. As you say, the pursuit of “real” friends is a far better use of one’s time. I enjoyed this post – thank you.
I’m glad that you like it! Thank you for reading and commenting!
A year ago, I shared two posts on facebook that doctors put out about the virus. They were saying that what we were being told was wrong. Both shares were censored. Many people have been censored on Facebook and Twitter, etc. That’s communism – not even socialism. They’re keeping the truth from us. Freedom of speech is gone, so I cancelled my Facebook account and to tell you the truth – I don’t really miss it. My true friends find ways to keep in touch! Good post.
Thank you for responding! Your comment is great and true! There are too many people and platforms trying to control all that we say and do!
I too have had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Several months ago, I was considering leaving the platform completely or severely cutting down on my “friends” list, but then I very distinctly heard God say, “But what if that’s your mission field?” Wow! Did that ever stop me in my tracks and cause me to rethink! I have found it necessary to block a small number of individuals who were consistently rude, critical of others, or completely sold out to weird conspiracy theories. I also did a 10 day “Instagram for Jesus” series put out by Well-Watered Women that offered some good advice about using social media with discernment. That led me to review my own Facebook presence and monitor it more carefully. We truly can use social media in godly ways, but it’s definitely challenging!
It certainly is a challenge. I lead a prayer team at our church and one of the ways that I communicate the prayer requests is through a private group and then I can also be part of our church’s other private group page. So for that and then severely reducing my friends list, I’m still on, but it is very reduced now.
I do agree though that it can be used for good, just learning still how best to use it for good
Thank you for your feedback😁 Have a great Easter!
Yes. Love your thoughts and I am now very selective. Less stress.
“Social Media” is the most “un-socializing” phenomenon of our day! Tried to leave FB several years ago and found that you had to delete EACH picture, one by one. About five years ago, they began to let you delete albums, so I grabbed the opportunity and left the platform. Deleted my Twitter account when they started censoring reasonable conservative voices. Dumped Disney+ when they started self-censoring like the Seuss organization now has.
We are moving in sad directions, in one way of looking at things. On the other hand, Jesus and Paul (along with Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, John and others) predicted we would see these developments before He returned. So, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come.” Looking forward to what He will do soon! 🤗
You are correct!!! We are living in hard times with a lot of these social media platforms! I’m looking forward to seeing Jesus at home in heaven
You’ve captured much of what I’ve thought about Social Media. I’ve realized that I have to change my expectations and concentrate on defining what purpose each account (Twitter, Facebook) fulfills. Once I removed traditional ‘friendship’ from the expectation, it was much easier to decide what I could give and get from each platform!
Welcome to that little voice and thank you for following my blog. Social media is a complex issue I’m still questioning.
I couldn’t agree more with you. You have done well in portraying through your prosaic piece the problems and plausible remedies to social media contents. The future of our contemporary society today depends on how well the social media is utilized by the general public.
I’ve experienced some of that (in Facebook groups) where nearly 60 people saw a post (by another group member) and less than 5 or 10 even bothered to hit the like button, much less comment. It is certainly a good idea to reevaluate where we spend time, why, and with whom.
I had to slow way down on the time I spent and the people I wrote and commented on
Wow! Couldn’t have said it better!
😁 Thanks! God bless!
We live in a strange time. Friendship has different meanings to different people. I wonder how many understand what a true friend is? Thank you for following my blog.
Blessings to you and I understand the quandary of social media. I do feel I need to comment on socialism – a concept widely misunderstood in some areas. I think the term you seek is fascism – dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition. Socialism is about sharing of assets amongst a community. Enjoy a wonderful day.
I replied, but when I looked, the reply wasn’t there. Thank you for your genuinely honest writing.
Thank you! I hope that you see the reply this time! Let me know!
So far, I have had no problems with Face Book. I love to write to my audience, and I send my writings often to Face Book. I have a page, and I haven’t been bothered with the wrong welcome. I am bold in my faith, but I love to see people who will fellowship , and contribute their thoughts. We don’t have enough of this, I think. Thank you for expressing your thoughts. I understood what you were saying. For me, I desire fellowship, and sharing what is happening to change me. I like to see straight-forward writing.
Thank you! I hope that you continue to find fellowship! Write anytime!
I am a pastor’s wife. I shared with a friend how good it was to pray with her church. The presence of the lord was there. So much because they pray Ed weekly.
That is wonderful! I strongly believe in the power of prayer!
This is so relatable. I deleted my fb account about six years ago and haven’t looked back. Only a handful have bothered with keeping in touch in-person or via phone/text, but it’s okay. I have become that much closer to the people I interact with post-fb and the conversations go deeper because they have no clues as to what I have been up to lately. It’s such a fulfilling and stress-free approach to friendship, and I could never go back to social media.
couldn’t agree more … I have only ever had nominal fb interaction! 6 real friends as in we have known each other many years face to face.
Nice to meet you 🙂
Good read. I’m right there with you. I shut my fb account down yesterday.
That’s great! Maybe you can still keep in touch with people you are close to some other way like private message, phone, text or email. That is what I mainly do. I just get so tired of all the arguing
That is my intent. I’m longing for deeper connection with people again. It was really nice to see someone else write about it. Your blog hit very close to my heart. It was a tough decision.
Awesome! I’m so glad! God bless!
Gee, as a proud Progressive, I’m surprised you started following my blog! Of course, I deliberately keep politics off of it; I want to focus positive energy on photography and kayaking and knitting and travel, and leave the angst out of it. I have a number of real, in person friends with whom I disagree politically; we acknowledge our differences and agree to disagree. And I don’t agree that Socialism seeks to control others, any more than the far right does – my friends on the Socialist/Progressive end of things tend to be very respectful of differing opinions, at least in person.
I started boycotting Facebook over 10 years ago when the first privacy kerfluffle happened. I follow a few WordPress blogs, and mostly communicate with real people whom I really know by talking to them, in person, by phone, or e-mail. I deliberately don’t keep myself in a silo, though; I try to balance MSNBC with various conservative radio stations (don’t have TV so don’t see MSNBC often) and subscribe to a couple of fact checking sites. That gives me the information to know when some commentator is only telling one side of a story, and public radio tends to come out in the middle at least as far as news in concerned.
I can only agree about Facebook. They kind of drew everybody in and initially it was so that one could simply connect to other people. I remember how about 10 years ago, I could see what ALL other people were talking about. That’s not any longer so, everything is adjusted and based on ads and sales. Well, somebody said Facebook is a business. That’s what we are seeing right now. It’s a business first and one single person doesn’t really matter.
I moved to Canada only 17 years ago, but up to that point and almost to 2000, I had to live in socialism. Socialism doesn’t make one think the same or attack others for what they disagree with. As you mentioned attacking people for not the same thinking is a rule nowadays regardless of weather you live in capitalism, democracy or anywhere else. There is no place where everybody is happy and equally satisfied.
Talking about Facebook. I looked at MeWe and some other potential sites to switch to, but they all have some catch. MeWE says it’s free in ads, but when you check out, you can see that basics (who knows what that is) are free, but one would have to pay for whatever things they need. That’s not a way social media becomes attractive. The other thing is that you can never convince absolutely everybody who you’re staying in contact with to move over.
I am also fed up with Facebook, but for different reasons. I’m used to being 8,600 miles from my family, and there are no real or earlier friends at all because I moved across the ocean when I was almost 50, and I am fine with that. I believe also that people need to stop relying on some external force to save them and have to start doing a lot more about their internal strength and use their own potential.
I looked at different new social media sites, and I must admit I’d never heard even one of these names before. None of them seemed like a good choice. It’s all US based, I didn’t see anything in Canada at all. Just thinking about starting all over again at some new site, and while these payments may be small (all in US currency, that would make it more expensive in Canadian dollars), there’s no guarantee that something will be better.
Social media isn’t that social deep down. To exist they need funds and they use horrible tactics to obtain them. I suppose you will see many people who want to leave Facebook, but aren’t willing to do so because of all work involved and all contacts.
A friend is a person who acts to be of benefit to you, without any expectation of return. I know this, because a character in one of my novels told me. I learn lots from people who are born within my computer. 🙂
Thank you for choosing to follow my blog, Bobbing Around. I hope my words will be of service to you for a long time.
You may be aware that for the moment, I am offering free copies to my followers of my award-winning novel, Sleeper, Awake. Email me if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.
Facebook can eat up a lot of time, but I still find it useful when I avoid random scrolling and don’t let myself get sucked in to disrespectful arguments. I do believe it is possible to question for the purpose of understanding and to disagree respectfully though it takes work. There’s an organization called Braver Angels that seeks to depolarize America and bridge the political divide with workshops and respectful debates. It has given me hope that with better skills and willingness to listen, we can learn to communicate with respect and find common ground. They even have a Facebook page! 🙂
Thank you for letting me know about Braver Angels! That sounds interesting, I will have to check it out!
Hi! I really like this post. I’m always cheerful of anyone who wants to move away from social media, because it can be so harmful. I myself got rid of Facebook many years ago, and it had the nice effect of bringing me closer to people– because my real friends and family now contact me via text, call, and snail mail, and it is much more personal 🙂 Just thought I’d share that!
So very true! I too have left some social media sites (Twitter was awful and I left it long before it got so divisive). I do still have a Facebook account but mostly it’s to stay in touch with friends in other parts of the country and also in some private groups like the one I administer for the Bible study group I lead.
What you write is so true. I’ve found there’s both good and bad aspects of social media. Unfortunately if we don’t conform we’re often bullied on FB but I’ve learnt to limit what I say and only voice my truth in private groups where most people are on the same page. WordPress on the whole is supportive with an amazing community of like minded people. Great post!
Thank you! I enjoy writing and hearing from people on WordPress!
Agree with you completely. It’s a fake world unlike what it used to be in our previous generations. No real feelings, it’s just show off.
I’m exactly where you are as regards Facebook! Incidentally, welcome to Virtual Vitamins! May my words bless and inspire you, as I’m sure your words do for many.
Very timely post. I have been thinking about these things very much of a late.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts! I’ve considered the same things regarding FB. I left Instagram and Twitter immediately. I’ll be referring my friends (the true ones) to this post.
Thank you! Glad that it was helpful! I also left Twitter especially very quickly as so many people are constantly treated very poorly on Twitter! Pass on to friends and I hope that it is helpful to them too! God bless you!
It seems like the traditional media and social media are driving these changes, but this is an ancient problem. Aristotle had a lot to say about the nature of friendship in Nicomachean Ethics, which reflects some of the sentiments you have spelled out here. All friendship is based on reciprocity. You cannot be friends with someone who disagrees with you about the nature of the world in some fundamental sense, or who lacks any actual goodwill toward you. If the mechanics of your exchanges are not reciprocal, they are not a friend.
One thing I have started to grok about social media, however, is it’s not just the people who pick fights that need to go. Lurkers can be some of the most malicious people out there, tagging people for “hate-speech” and whatnot.
This is a period where people of goodwill need to start rebuilding their communities and institutions in earnest. And I mean authentic communities. People who will help you raise children and grandchildren who follow what is beautiful, good, and true. I have gotten to the point where I feel like the first honest step toward peace in my home, neighborhood, and life in general is to stop trying to engage the un-engageable and focus on exploring positive connections to the fullest. We are called to lead by example, but it seems like a lot of folks are obsessed with trying to convert Satan to the peril of everyone they (actually) love and enjoy being around.
I made my page private for others to see but still get to participate in the groups I want. There are no real friends on social media, 99% of the time. The way i lookat it anyone can be anything, they are a non, you know nothing about them and they can tell you anything. That’s not friends. It’s people you communicate with. Please remember social media is a very negative platform, I also voiced an opioin that dind’t go over well and was trolled and threated my life by several people. People are looking for someone to take out hteir anger and hate on. You’re better off developing a slow relationsip with someone on wordpress than on social media channels. You can at least read their post, learn more abou them and see if oyu have anyhting iin common. Just alwasy remember, people can be anything and will. Take care.
Thank you! I am trying to write again more! You are right, that most people are looking for someone to take their anger out on!
Believe me, I feel your pain. I think a lot of us do, particularly anyone who is a Conservative.
definitely! It is really hard when we are conservative and people are so unkind, then facebook censors so much! They don’t want us to be real! I don’t like to be fake!
I am right there with you. All this stuff is tearing apart our country and our families. When did being a good, honest, hard working person become the root of all evil?