Why are so many of us so hard on our Facebook friends? Demanding? Judgmental? Downright angry ? Lately I’ve been seeing these pasted posts from my F friends telling me that if I care about them, if I’m not just some fly-by-night people collector, I’ll cut and paste–not just share–their cut and paste job from someone else’s page. Well if you were a real friend, you wouldn’t test our friendship. Do you really think it means I care about you if I post a word that describes you? If I put down a sentence about how we met? Is that what you want to hear? One word that describes you: needy. How we met: we were six, and Sr. Patricia sat us next to each other. There. I love you, you’re so fabulous, we’re like this (picture me crossing my fingers).
Let’s get this straight: if you are my Facebook friend, you give me a good feeling. You didn’t hurt me. I care enough about where you are in life to know that you are alive and happy and going about your daily business. Perhaps you will share something funny with me that I can then pay forward. Perhaps you’re having a bad day and read something I post and it makes you feel better. It’s an exchange. Human connection. That’s what Facebook is to me. An online social community that I couldn’t possibly keep up with in the flesh. I have friends in Vegas, Los Angeles, Paris, New York. I live in Tampa; I have one Facebook friend in Tampa. Two, if you count Arty Party. I have a Facebook friend from when I went to Switzerland, a crazy, funny teen who had a group of friends that interacted with me and my family. I’ll probably never see her again. Does that mean we can’t be Facebook friends?
If I haven’t seen you in the past five years, we probably don’t affect each other very much. It goes both ways, considering you’re not flying down here to Tampa to see me, either. Some of us have over a hundred Facebook friends. I have a hard time keeping up with the close friends I have now, which is probably under twenty, the people who would travel to see me, the people I would travel to go see. But that’s what Facebook is for. No, I’m not going to Paris anytime soon, so God bless my Facebook friendship with Scott. If I like your posts, that is my way of loving you, of saying what you like and what you’re doing matters to me. It’s the least I can do considering I don’t own a private jet and an infinite amount of time. Do you really care if I don’t post a word about you on your page because you say I’m not your true friend if I don’t? How about reading my blog? Liking my Lisa on he Left business page? Do I put conditions on you, tell you if you were really my friend you’d follow my blog and like my page? Can you see if all your Facebook friends demanded that of you? If two hundred people asked for a word or sentence about how you met? Cut and pasted rather than shared? Why does that mean so much to you? A friendship isn’t a job. It’s a pleasure. And an Internet friendship is more of a pastime. It doesn’t need to be more. If you really want to know what you mean to people, put down the device and write a letter. Call on the phone. Schedule a lunch. Give some real time. I dare you.