Shaping a Genesis week from the chaos of my life
We’re collecting friends like stamps . . . and converting the deep meaning and intimacy of friendship with exchanging photos and chat conversations. By doing so . . . we claim to have many friends, while actually being lonely.
I’ve had a few discussions with my closest friends regarding how social media is very anti-social. The irony of raising it here is not lost on me, I assure you.
I’ve realized that while many people show an on-line status, for example, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are available to me. This has been a challenging lesson for me. I was one of the people who was connected and yet most definitely lonely. My loneliness was perhaps amplified in that I was sometimes a shut-in for weeks at a time and depended on social media for my companionship. People were always afraid to call me, they said, because they didn’t want to wake me up. So I chose to only be “available” when I truly was. I wasn’t the popular girl at the online party. Frankly, that wasn’t so different from my in-person life sometimes.
Does that sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself? Okay, sometimes. But mostly, I’ve accepted an opportunity to reclaim the original meaning of friend. It’s not a numbers game. It’s about mutual affection, caring and support. The reason I raise this though, is because of Shimi Cohen’s next thought.
More and more people define themselves as lonely . . . thus, loneliness has become the most common ailment in the modern world.
Loneliness promotes depression. Depression and other mental health problems are significant and for many people can lead to self-injury or death. In my case, it fostered a victim mentality in me and when I couldn’t get others to see where I was coming from, I realized I needed to make a change in my expectations of other people. So I declared a social media moratorium for several weeks–and a permanent moratorium on certain platforms.
I want more in my life. Friendship–solid, joy-filled, blessed friendship–takes time. It requires effort but I believe it will be worth it. Sure, I have people who can see my pictures and my stories and what things I like or don’t. As a not-yet-published author, I know I have to learn to be okay with that. But that, is mostly a numbers game.
It’s not friendship. I choose quality over quantity. Do you?