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Want to be My Facebook “Friend”?

A few years ago I began to hear about this new social network thing that the kids were doing called Facebook. Admittedly, I did not research it very closely and was not involved at all. Now I am the proud possessor of 234 “friends” with more “friends” coming on board every day. It seems that one measure of a Facebook profile is how many “friends” you have. With 234 “friends” I am feeling pretty good about myself compared to some of my “friends” who have considerably less “friends”. I just choose to not measure myself against “friends” who have more “friends”.

What is a friend? Here’s what http://www.dictionary.com/ and http://www.thesaurus.reference.com/ had to say.

Friend [frend]

–noun

1.

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

2.

a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.

3.

a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

Main Entry:

Friend

Part of Speech:

Noun

Definition:

confidant, companion

Synonyms:

acquaintance, ally, alter ego, associate, bosom buddy, buddy, chum*, classmate, cohort, colleague, companion*, compatriot, comrade, consort, cousin, crony, familiar, intimate, mate, pal, partner, playmate, roommate, schoolmate, sidekick, soul mate*, spare*, well-wisher

Antonyms:

enemy, foe

I have been interacting with a buddy of mine recently (who has not joined the Facebook movement) about his observations of a relational fabric change in our socialization since the advent of the Internet. Meaning that in essence we are relating to one another differently than in the past. Now I can keep up with my “friends” vicariously through the Internet. Depending on how transparent someone wants to be, I can learn their deepest fears, hopes and dreams without have to pick up the tab of a cup of coffee. But as my Facebook Newsfeed grows, my calendar grows conspicuously empty. My wife and I lament all the time about when was the last time we had anybody over to eat. But, why do that when I can manage my relationships from a distance from the comfort of my home in front of the fireplace, especially now that we are a two-laptop family. It is a lot less messy that way!

CNN reported an interesting comment recently on how reliant we have become on the Internet. Nearly half of the women questioned by Harris Interactive said they’d be willing to forgo sex for two weeks, rather than give up their Internet access, according to a study released Monday by Intel, which commissioned the survey. While 46 percent of the women surveyed were willing to engage in abstinence versus losing their Internet, only 30 percent of the men surveyed were willing to do likewise. The U.S. survey, which queried 2,119 adults last month, found that the gap grew even wider for both men and woman who were 18 to 34 years old. For woman, the percentage of those willing to skip the sheets in favor of the Web rose to 49 percent, while it climbed to 39 percent for men. And for women 35 to 44 years old, the figure jumped to 52 percent. Of course when it comes to TV, perhaps size matters, at least according to a different survey earlier this year of Britons conducted by electronics retailer Comet. Almost half of the men polled said they would give up sex for six months in return for a 50-inch plasma TV, according to Reuters.

What am I saying? I think the bottom line is we need to be careful about how we relate to one another. Love is best expressed face to face! Not Facebook to Facebook! Am I against the Facebook movement? NO WAY! I love it! I have reconnected to people I care about and haven’t communicated with in years via Facebook. I will continue to do so. It is my position that some contact with “friends” is better than no contact with “friends” and I would rather have that than nothing since my “friends” are all over the world. But, I want to make sure that I am not allowing this easier form of socialization to become my primary form of interaction with my “friends”. In 2009, it is my hope that I can make some progress in my friend acquisition the old fashion way. One meal at a time, one ballgame at a time, one cup of coffee at a time, one team sport at a time.

Want to have lunch sometime? Maybe we could go to a restaurant that has free wi-fi and check our Facebook!

Photo by maebmij

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maebmij/123180774/

This entry was posted in A Rant.
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