Most people want to feel important. This isn’t a new concept or feeling, and with the rise of social media platforms its very easy for people to feel important. How many Twitter followers do you have? How many likes did your post on Facebook receive? Did your latest Instagram photo get a lot of hearts? Like I said, its easy to “feel” important, but does that actually mean you are important? When I look at Facebook the most liked posts often include either a baby or boobs. The most popular twitter posts generally have something to do with the latest episode of some TV show, and Instagram, like Facebook, has a lot of babies and boobs.
I often see people posting on these various social media platforms desperate for likes, RT, and hearts, but they never really care about creating something of quality. What I see as even worse is social media is becoming more important than building actual relationships. Shouldn’t our real life friendships be more important than our online ones?
I am reminded of a conversation I had with my wife a few weeks ago. I was telling her a story about a friend of mine, and she asked me “Is this a real friend or someone you know online?” The question stopped me dead in my tracks. For a moment I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I soon recovered, told her this was a real friend, and continued my story, but the experience has stuck with me.
At the beginning of the year I decided to perform an experiment. I decided to choose 3 real friends, and focus all year on improving my relationships with those three people. Each week I try to do something in person with each friend, more so, I try make each “something” meaningful. Something that will strengthen our relationship.
I also decided to pick 10 “online” friends, and once a month I try to do something that will bring us closer to being “real” friends. To be honest I have had mixed results on this part of the experiment, but I can tell you that the three people I chose to spend quality time with has been a wonderful experience.
I encourage you to do the same. Find 3 people you care about, and each week do something with them that will bring your friendship closer together. Because in the end it doesn’t matter how many likes we get on Facebook, or how many RT we get on Twitter. Be honest with yourself. If you died tomorrow how many of your “Online” friends would really miss you? Think about that.