I love Facebook. I really do. It is a great tool to do all sorts of things. Sure I get to re-connect with friends I lost touch with years ago. And I can see what all my friends are up to instantly. And I get to go through pictures of their kids, their spouses, their recent adventures. Don’t get me wrong – it is all great, awesome, incredible and a bit overwhelming.
But when it comes to a deeper meaning of friendship: is hitting the “Like” button really the only way to carry on a friendship with someone?
It wasn’t that long ago that our ancestors and their tribes sat together around a fire in their village. As soon as we could communicate, we got together to share our problems, our successes, our failures – to get to know what was going in the lives of our friends and family members. For generations, we gathered in our villages, our places of worship and our homes so that we wouldn’t feel alone in this chaotic world.
Getting together with friends face to face made us feel better to know that we were not alone. That our friends were experiencing the same uncertainties. We shared laughter, sorrow and our deepest fears about the future. But somehow, gathering around that fire – face to face – with our friends, we felt better.
We don’t do this anymore. I get it. We’re busy. We’re all very busy. But deep down inside, I bet that we’re itching to put how we really feel on that status bar in Facebook. We want to connect and share our problems and aspirations with friends. So that they can tell us that its ok. So that they can encourage us to follow our path when everyone else tells us we’re crazy. That whatever we make of this crazy time – that it’s not a big deal.
Meeting our friends, face to face, or talking real-time on the phone helps us embrace the chaos because we feel a little lighter. We feel like we’re not alone. We feel that our troubles are not as bad as we thought. And we had a laugh too. Let’s use Facebook or text messages to connect with someone and then make a promise to meet Face to Face. To grab a coffee, a beer, a burger or a laugh. Let’s use the technology to serve us better. To pickup on friendships we left behind. To help us figure out a career problem. Or to just shoot the breeze. And all of a sudden, the world may not seem so chaotic anymore.