Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friends?

I need real friendships.

There I said it.

I've seen Facebook as a crutch for a long time. I see (and have read plenty of research) on how social media creates this false identity, false relationships, false persona, etc. I mean how could it not? You get to post the profile picture that makes you look good. You get to connect with people on your terms. Delete them if they say something you don't like. Hide them if they post too much. You get to rant and rave like you would never dream of doing in real life. You're braver, more confident.

And yet it's all a facade.



Sure, some of it is real. And some are more real than others. I would like to think that people get to see more of me on social media than they might otherwise because, since I am a writer, I process a whole lot better on paper, er, screen. I feel a little more eloquent. I bit more funny. My thoughts are more concise. Or precise maybe.

Nevertheless, I don't know who else is being real like me, or only showing me their best self. I guess for some people it might be their worst self? People are so brave they feel like they can post or say things that they might otherwise say with more class or restraint. I'm growing weary of reading every single innermost thought of "friends" who have drastically changed over the years. For the worse. I'm growing weary of the politics, the anti-Christ stance, the sexuality, the agenda pushing. I'm growing weary of feeling in the minority. I'm growing weary of my voice being shut out, out of fear of being deleted or ranted on when I'm honest about my own feelings. (I mean, why can't I be honest? Doesn't everybody get that opportunity? Or is that only if they agree with you?) Crap, I'm weary of feeling fearful of the Body of Christ judging me at my every word, or "like," or slip, or the way I process something, or a situation I'm going through. It's exhausting. And the reason I feel fearful is because I have, more times than I care to recall, experienced the thoughtless, unloving, hurtful words from someone who doesn't know me and is passing judgment anyway.

And I get that a lot of this is the junk that goes on in my own head, but I think this is a reality for more than just me and I just feel like laying it out there. Actually I'm building a case for something.

I don't know who my friends are anymore. I think I feel the weight of that more than ever before in my life. I feel like I've spent so much time on Facebook where the net/audience is cast wide...and shallow. There is no depth to any of my relationships on Facebook. I'm even exhausted of texting. I don't do Instagram or Twitter because Facebook has been enough for me. I realize phone calls are exhausting (ugh, I can't believe I just said that, but I think everyone must think it because no one wants to talk on the phone anymore) and that it must just be completely impossible to hang out with someone face-to-face, but we're all searching for some depth and it's just not going to happen on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or via blog. The world may be smaller because of the interwebs but the emotional distance has only increased because of them. We've allowed it to excuse us from actively pursuing real relationships.

So I guess that's what I'm trying to say: I need friends. Real ones. I have no clue who those people are. I'm terrified of it. I'm terrified that leaving Facebook behind will mean that I alienate myself more than I have ever been before. But I feel pretty darn alienated right now. And lonely. And isolated. Maybe it will get worse, but maybe my outlook and perspective will change once away from all the junk that is social media, and it will get better. Or maybe there will be some God-sized miracle and I will figure out who my friends are again. And we will talk on the phone. And we will go for coffee. And they might even (big breath) Come. See. Me. When I'm lonely and depressed and feel like I'm going to cry from the loneliness and these five children who all tug at all of me and I've got nothing left to even reach out and beg for help. Maybe my friend will come and see me unexpectedly just like I've always wanted. I've always wanted to be that house where friends drop by unexpectedly. And maybe she'll pray with me and love me for me and maybe she'll challenge me with the depth of her uninhibited love for Jesus. And I know it's selfish. And maybe it never will happen. And maybe I'll be okay with that. But here's to hoping...

And with that, I bid thee, Facebook, au revoir.




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