With the death of Steve Jobs and his words of wisdom to live our lives fully, for we know not when they will end, how many of us truly live full-out, fearless, loving? How many of us take our loved ones for granted, that they will always be there? How many of us send flowers to each other while we are alive, or do we decorate headstones when our loved ones are dead?
How many of us support each other in her/his time of need? How many of us actually show up? How many of us move our feet as well as our mouths (or laptop fingers)? Social media isn’t social unless you really are social, and that includes ‘in-real-life’. There are Facebook ‘friends’, and then there are real friends. Which one are you?
Do you show up for your friends when they need you – whether it be Liking their posts, commenting on a blog, sending birthday wishes, attending their seminars, being supportive of their endeavors in some real way, helping them with nothing asked in return, or showing support when they are going through a big life change such as illness or a death in the family? What does a friend mean to you? How do you show your friendship? All-in or half-assed? When it’s convenient, or when it’s needed?
My mother would say you can count your friends on one hand. In this giant new world of social media with scores of friends, followers, and circles, how many true friends do you have? Who can you call and know they will be there for you? Those are true friends.
Then there is the next level of friendship – the ‘just above acquaintance’ friend. They will talk to you on social media with comments, likes, shares, retweets. And sometimes these will grow into a stronger, more personal friendship, but mostly not. These are the impersonal friends, those scores of numbers and names that we sort-of know, but don’t know much about them personally. They’re like co-worker friends. Nice to be around, but don’t count on them.
So how do we become the friend we would like to have? A personal friend, not just a social media friend? Caring and action. Taking the time to connect on a personal level. Sharing about ourselves in bits and pieces until it becomes the whole enchilada. Along the way we begin to care about each other, we pick up the phone and say let’s get together. Asking How is your day going and really listening for the answer.
We are all human and humans need contact and interaction and love. Remember that in the social world and especially in the real world. Cross the bridge from the virtual into the real – friendships will have greater meaning, and so will our lives. Pick up the phone. Go and show up. Be there and be real.