July 25, 2010

Who Are These People?

Friendship has been redefined in recent years-so has loneliness. If I'm feeling lonely I can just get online and go sit in some chat room with my friends!

Are they my friends? They are friendly, yes, but do I know them, really know them? Do I know what their favorite color is? Maybe, because it's on their profile page! Do I know what their favorite book is? Yes, it's an answer to a quiz they took online! But, do I really know them? Do I know how they will react when the times get rough? Do I know the measure of their fortitude? Do I know they will stand by me in my hour or worst need? Do I know they are good to their neighbors? No, probably not. I don't know.

Popularity was always a contest-in high school. Today, you don't even have to graduate! "Friends" are collected like trophies. I have over 200 friends in Facebook!!!! Some of you laugh and say, so what, I have 500!!!! How many do you actually know? How many have you actually ever met in person? How long have you been "friends", 20 years or 20 minutes?

I have relationships I have cultivated due to connecting on social media so I'm not saying online friendships are impossible but it takes YEARS to make and become a true friend. It takes a while to know a person, to take their measure, you can't do that with one click of "accept"

You all hear "be careful" who you "friend". That was always true, except now you can't look them in the eyes; a Webcam image can be hard to see.

It is an exciting time we live in, we can chat with people all over the world in real time; however, the need for caution has never changed.

Be friendly, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends you have, and their friendship tested,
Anchor them to your soul with hoops of steel,
But don’t spend your money on entertaining
Each newly acquired, unproven friend

Polonious may have been a point of derision to Hamlet but he was not a fool. Some good advice admidst his pomposity is to be had.

Likewise, some true friends can be found amongst the strangers. We all have to start as strangers, right?

But, don't be a fool and assume someone is a true friend immediately.

It may sound trite to those of no faith but the truest friend is Christ. He will never leave you, though you may leave him and often, He is True.

If Jesus were on Facebook, how many true friends would He have? Clicking "Like" is easy, sticking by him as the boos are hurled and the nails and wood are brought out is the test of friendship.

Those people are us.


Blogger Subvet said...

Very good point about being careful with online friendships. A bit over twelve years ago I went online and asked a college student in Texas for advice. She was 23, I was 45. She was in Texas, I was in Connecticut. Different as night and day, what unforseen circumstance could happen? Safe as houses, right?

We just celebrated our eleventh year of marriage. It's a strange world out there on the Web.

July 25, 2010 3:10 PM  
Blogger X said...

Good post! And though we will probably never meet until we pass the pearly gates - I still consider you my friend.

July 25, 2010 4:11 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Subvet: Congratulations! Guess I should shut up? :-)

Angela: You were one of those I had in mind when I said friendship is possible! Maybe if Crescat ever gets her Rome trip going again some bloggers could all go?!

July 25, 2010 4:51 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

You were really trashing Larry here weren't you. Because he never looked us up for a blognic when he was in Minneapolis a week ago. I felt the same way hon.

July 25, 2010 6:26 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I know. We were totally dissed,Ter! I bet he got together with Ray.

July 25, 2010 6:43 PM  
Blogger Larry Denninger said...

Cathy - Ray must have forgot to tell you and Terry about the blognic. It was fun. Adoro was there too. we must have rode the roller coaster at M of A five or six times.

July 25, 2010 9:30 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

I used to have hundreds of Facebook "friends." Then I deleted the ones I didn't know in one fell swoop. I now have less than 60, most of whom are family or close friends I actually know. I do have some Catholic internet (blogger) friends, though, whom I have never met, but I feel I "know" them well enough to trust them with my Facebook page. When you read someone's blog regulary, you get to know them!

July 26, 2010 1:09 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...


July 26, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I've been saying lately that I have 500 Facebook "friends" and at least 499 of them I don't know...

I rarely ever go there anymore. I may have to do what paramedic girl did...

July 26, 2010 8:54 PM  
Blogger Laura The Crazy Mama said...

That last paragraph reminds me of something I've always wanted to post on fb but never have. I want to post "Does Jesus read your fb status?" Really, it kind of drives me bonkers when people "talk" to inanimate objects, dead relatives, or Jesus in their status (i.e.: "Dear Flashlight, why do you suck my batteries so fast during a storm?"). I can't post that when I'm thinking it because someone has probably just posted something like that and I don't want to be mean or make them think I'm making fun of them or directing it at them.

Sorry, a little off-topic. Just wanted to get that off my chest to a real friend. Ahhhh, I feel much better now. ;)

July 27, 2010 12:17 AM  

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