fake

What does friendship really mean today, and how valuable is authentic relationship to our daily lives?

In a world where we know more about the history of our favorite movie heroine than our “best friend,” and care more about the number of Twitter followers we have than number of people who know our hearts, it seems that “friendship” is now just about as predictable, and constant, as the wind.

The other day I was chatting with a friend who had mentioned that she had been deleted from Facebook by one such mutual contact, after said person had posted a statement that if people didn’t respond to her post, she would be removing those people who “clearly” hadn’t placed value on their relationship. Upon investigation, I found that I, too, had been dismissed from her list of friends by not having appropriately responded to her request for comment. And yet, only a short time ago, I had bumped into this person, (blissfully unaware of my dismissal) and we had had a lovely exchange, smiles, hugs and laughter…

I guess friendship just doesn’t mean what it used to.

It would seem we’ve been reduced to a purely statistical society when it comes to relationship. Over the years, some who have left our church have deleted our connection, but have remained “friends” with hundreds of others, even though I fully supported them as they made their decision. On the flip side, people I hardly know at all, want to connect and comment on my life, when I know absolutely nothing about them aside from worshiping in the same building.

What exactly is going on??

I don’t exactly know where I am headed with this, other than to express my sincere confusion and moderate irritation at the state of humanity at this point in history. And, yet, also a sincere gratitude for those with whom I DO share a deep connectivity outside of our wonderful¬†internet community – people who know my heart, share theirs, walk alongside me in life and love me just where I am, regardless of the time that passes between conversations. Friends who don’t delete me because I didn’t “like” their profile pic, or neglected to comment on their demand for response…or better yet, choose to remain in contact with me even though I didn’t choose to follow them to their greener pastures…

I am beginning to understand the loneliness that psychologists have been warning about in this world of technology – fake lives and fake friends. Regardless of who I choose to be, sometimes the greatest sadness comes in the realization that what I thought was real, was all a delusion – conjured up by some to make me “feel” I belonged, when all they wanted was another head count on their followers list.

Or, someone to delete so that they feel powerful…

Behind every profile is a person with feelings. Behind every smile, a life experienced. For every stroke of the keys, an opportunity to reach out and connect. Having been designed by our Creator for relationship, the need for deep human contact couldn’t be any more important than it is today. Don’t let the relationships that make life meaningful become erased by the very medium that was meant to bring us all together. When we die, all we take with us is love – the love that is right there in front of you…

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