Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Friend Isn't Necessarily a "Friend"

I can be friendly with people from all walks of life, but when it comes to which people are most compatible as my long-term friends, some of my friends on Facebook are not a good fit for the kinds of lasting friendships that I wish to obtain. The main issue is the age difference. Some of my Facebook friends are like twice my age because they are my mom's friends. They simply don’t have the life experience that I do to give the kind of value I gain from a good friendship.  I like having friends my age, or at least near my age. They help me stay young at heart, and they help me keep my thinking from becoming stale. When I dropped Facebook, my social life began to rebalance itself automatically. For a few years now, this has been a challenging part of my life to balance. It took a while to recognize and accept that my online “friends” and my best in-person friends are very different people. Most of my Facebook “friends” wouldn’t have been very compatible as in-person friends. We wouldn’t have had enough in common to develop a particularly deep friendship. So it seems odd to refer to them as friends in the same way I’d refer to my in-person friends. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t just fill up my social bucket with an endless supply of friends and expect good results, even if they’re very intelligent and all those positive characteristics. So that’s a specific reason Facebook really had to go — using Facebook was a lame attempt on my part to expect that my in-person friends and Facebook friends would/could be the same people.

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