Facebook “Friends” are Not Enough

Facebook Friends are not Enough

I know, I know. It’s wonderful to find like-minded people from all over the world. It’s encouraging to be in contact with people we can relate to and that we “get.” It’s so easy to keep in contact with old friends and even to find people that we knew years ago. It’s convenient to keep our families up-to-date on the happenings of our little family unit by posting pictures and status updates of the kiddos. But, sweet reader, it isn’t enough.

I’m not saying you should unlike all your Facebook “friends” like this brave lady did, though I think she has made a wonderful choice! I’m not saying that Facebook is wrong or evil or anything like that, though it certainly has the potential to be any of those things. I’m saying that we all need more.

We need the in-person, flesh-and-blood, real-life people to experience life with in a community. We need the eye contact, the hugs, the knowledge that these people see us as we are, without the artificiality of a Facebook status update, and they love us. We need to have people there with us who can experience life right alongside us.

Yes, we can post status updates, photos, emoticons and even videos on Facebook so people know about us… that doesn’t mean they know us. It creates a false sense of intimacy. We share thoughts and feelings with 600 of our closest friends and each person who sees it feels like they’ve connected with us. They haven’t. This isn’t real connection, no matter how honest we are. This isn’t real life, it’s Cliff’s Notes on our lives.

No, I’m not saying it’s wrong… just that we all need people we can see and touch and experience life with to really thrive. We need to be able to laugh and cry together. We need those real connections. Not sure where to start?

  • Limit Screen Time: If our faces are glued to the phone, computer or any other screen, we’re missing the chance to make real connections with the people around us. Our time and effort shouldn’t all be spent on people who are across the country. What if each of us developed rich and beautiful friendships with the people near us? Not seeing any people around you?
  • Find People: No, you probably can’t find people who think, feel and believe exactly the same things that you do, but that’s okay!! If everybody you interact with is just like you, how boring is that? Pick something you love and find a group of people to join.
  1. Go to a Bible study
  2. Take a class (art, cooking, etc.)
  3. Join a group (hiking, exercise, book club, etc.)
  4. Chat with neighbors (over the fence or host a neighborhood barbeque, etc.)
  5. Involve your kids in something and get to know the other mamas (play group, classes, etc.)
  • Make an Effort: Don’t just assume you will instantly click, though you might. Make an effort to get to know the other person. If you wait around hoping for them to make the first move, you’ll probably be waiting a long time.
  1. Invite them to join you in an activity (shopping, taking the kiddos to the park, going to the zoo, etc.)
  2. Invite a bunch of ladies who don’t know each other to have a mom’s group at your house or a local church (keep it casual or make it be a Bible study)
  3. Join them in something they love, if you have an interest in that activity, too
  • Make Time: Relationships take time. Time spent together talking, laughing, encouraging, crying, helping… If one or both of you can’t or won’t put in the time, the friendship will never get going or it will die. Sometimes that’s the best thing, but for the most part we need to work at finding ways to get together, even if it’s for something as mundane as grocery shopping.
  • “Be There” For Them: One of the big differences between online friends and in person friends is that we can be there for each other. We can help each other in tangible ways. A hug, a meal, a shoulder to cry on, a ride when the car isn’t running, a babysitter in an emergency… when all our friends are far away, we miss out on helping each other in practical ways when there are real needs.

In person relationships take a lot more work, true. But they are worth every single little bit of it! No matter how wonderful those Facebook “friends” may be in real life, they aren’t actually in YOUR real life. Find a few people to include in your life right where you live and make the effort to develop real relationships with them. It will be such a blessing to you and them, both! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Facebook “Friends” are Not Enough

  1. This is so very, very important!
    As a super busy homeschooling mom of 5, I find myself struggling to make time for friends. It is convenient to check in on FB, but definitely not enough.
    Life is all a balancing act. While I cannot afford to be on the phone all day, I also cannot afford to assume my relationships will maintain themselves. I make it a point about once a week to pause and think about my friends and family and then reach out to say hello. I am amazed at how blessed people are by the simple effort to say, “I’m thinking of you…”

  2. Jacqueline says:

    I love this. I stopped Facebook a long time ago. Good for you!

    I have a new one for you to think about. Pinterest. I have friends who spend so much time bragging, boasting, lusting, coveting & trying to keep up with the world on Pinterest.

    I have been praying about this for a few weeks now. I recently saw a friend who is a minister’s wife who has boards called, “I WANT THIS!!!” & “I NEED THIS!” I am in a minister’s family. I am the first to admit I am not perfect! I am not judging I am merely saying what I believe God has placed on my heart.

    But what if they spent that time reading/studying the Bible or with their husband & kids. Even organizing their home instead of just pinning about it! lol

    Are we allowing social media to cause us to lust & covet? I mean Christian women who are married with board’s titled “HOT MEN” or “MUST HAVE” or they pin or follow people who hate God & even our country not giving it a single thought.

    I asked a friend who is on Pinterest why do you pin couture clothing you & I will never be able to afford aka an $11,000.00 dress, mansions, dream cars, dream closets, perfect organization & gourmet recipes when you don’t even like to cook?

    She said, it’s fun seeing what all my friends & other people are doing, going, buying, living, traveling & cooking. Then she said, I like to see how many followers I can get & how many repins. I simply said, I see.

    Then I said well I took down my boards except Bible verses & quotes. I mean I can right click on any photo on-line of a room, an outfit or a wreath for my front door & save it right to my private photos or documents file for inspiration. I do recipes like that. I also just hit print & then I have the recipe.

    I don’t think every friend I have has to know where I shop or go on vacation but that’s just me.

    Also if your pinning things you’ll never buy, places you’ll never go & things you’ll never do don’t you think your friends might be doing the same exact thing?

    Then is it really real or all just coveting? She didn’t answer right away.

    She called me a few days later & said your right 99% of those people are not buying, doing, cooking or traveling to those places so why am I wasting my time trying to keep up with them? I said, exactly & the best part is you are perfect being the you that God created!!! If God wants you to go to Italy he’ll send you & you don’t need a pin for that! BTW we can go shopping for real & not just dream about it on-line. Imagine that two people having an actually conversation & going out shopping. Wow.

    You said it better Creative Christian Mama!
    “Be There” For Them: One of the big differences between online friends and in person friends is that we can be there for each other. We can help each other in tangible ways. A hug, a meal, a shoulder to cry on, a ride when the car isn’t running, a babysitter in an emergency… when all our friends are far away, we miss out on helping each other in practical ways when there are real needs.

    Please don’t think I am being mean. God just put this on my heart. Why are we following & coveting worldly things that don’t matter? Why when we know in our hearts what we like do we feel the need to Pin it or Facebook it? I care about people’s well being, if they are hungry, hurting or have actual needs not what they covet or what the latest celebrity socialite trend is. I do care when their car breaks down or their baby is sick. That’s the real pins I pin to my heart.

    Love your site.

    • What great thoughts, Jacqueline! Thanks so much for sharing your heart about this! I’ve always felt like I am doing Pinterest “wrong” because I honestly don’t pay much attention to what anybody else pins and when I pin something, it’s to keep things organized (like all those chicken feed recipes). When I’m “on” Pinterest, it’s because I’m searching for something that I’ve either pinned and need to find (a recipe or instructions on a project I’m doing) or I’m searching for a photo to show my hubby so we can make decisions about renovating our house (he needs to see pics- he’s just not able to imagine how something will look).

      I did try for a short time to increase my Pinterest “following” (HATE that word!) and decided that there is absolutely no eternal value in how many people follow my boards on Pinterest. Same with Facebook “likes” (which is why I shut down my 7,000+ facebook page) or any of those other things.

      My husband and I were just talking about drastically changing how we spend our time and money so that things of eternal value are really at the top of our priority list. It seems that making these small decisions (closing my blog FB page and putting blogging where it should be, rather than at the top of my to-do list) has snowballed into making many more difficult decisions, but that changes are so rewarding!

      I appreciate that you took the time to comment and loved what you had to say! Thanks so much!

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