Ever notice how friends seem to come and go throughout your life, yet others… Appear and reappear at various intervals… and when you get together it’s as if no time has passed as you slip right into the loving and caring relationship where you last left off?
That’s the sign of a true friend
People don’t seem to create the same kind of lasting bonds as they used to.
What’s social media got to do with it?
Social media is dual sided
Sure, it can instantly connect us to family, friends, acquaintances, business associates and people from our past. In regards to connecting in this fashion, the medium is priceless. I even use it to be engaged in the lives of my family and kids, somewhat closing the gap of separation by geography.
The electronic medium is instant – and delayed – all at the same time. Someone can post something in real time, and the viewer can view and/or comment at a time that is convenient.
In these respects social media is a huge upgrade to our lives on planet earth.
On the other hand it leads to deterioration in the level of intimacy in social relationships.
Friendships are more superficial, as there is less one-on-one face-to-face intimate communication.
Plus, there is a technological separation – a barrier – which cannot be bridged by social media. It is easier for me to misrepresent, cover-up, be dishonest or lie via social media to my “friends.”
There is less opportunity to open-up, trust and remain unfiltered in true heart-to-heart communication. Which turns out to create a greater need for counseling, coaching and consulting; and even these areas are beginning to move from offices to streaming via electronic mediums.
Making Real Friends
My earliest friendships date back to my childhood; from frolicking and playing (Dog-pile!) with my young friends, out in the open, walking the streets, hiking trails, splashing in streams, playing in the woods… Having fun and exploring; bonding, without supervision, without fear (except the fear of getting in trouble for not honoring the rule of heading for home when the street lights turned on).
Other friendships were forged in between classes from grade school through college. While in-person training is still the accepted model in public schools, there is a growing trend amongst greater education (starting to infiltrate high school) to telecommute or attend via Internet. Not having downtime in between classes, does not allow potential for developing a deep level friendship.
Take a Look Around
The next time you go out to a night club, restaurant – or even a college cafeteria – and take a look around… Even in these public social environments, more and more people are on their phones and tablets, connecting with others, even each other. Yes, I witnessed (and you may, too):
Two men sitting at the bar communicating with each other via text and over social media.
I realize I’m sounding like an “old person” right about now, because the times they are a changing.
The changes have me concerned about the future.
From this perspective, I see the world moving to a place where meaningful relationships are much less meaningful and are superseded by a new model of social connection that – while very connected – is completely disconnected.
How will this affect the future?
Will our children’s children be less likely to have meaningful connections (true friends) with other individuals?
Will there be a growing trend for us to further imprison ourselves, crawling deeper into our homes and only connect electronically with the outside world?
I may only have a handful of true friends – the ones who I have forged impenetrable relationships with, standing the test of time – but they are by far among the most treasured the most meaningful components of a life that would otherwise be solitary, even though I am surrounded by thousands of people. I salute each and every one of you with an enthusiastic
I love you, man!
Now, I’m going to go check to see how liked I am by counting my Facebook friends… 🙂