The other day I attempted to “cut my friend list” on facebook. You know how it goes – you have an account for a while, and pretty soon people just start “appearing” on your friend list until you have near 1000 people! This happened to me a few years ago. I heard the snickers and taunts from my other facebook friends, “no one has 100o friends!” and set out to cut it back and only have people there I actually knew in person and had a connection with.
That was 2 or 3 years ago. Then over time it crept up again as I slowly added those that were “late adopters” in joining the social media world. Students, former students and people I had a relationship with on some level all came on board and asked to “friend” me. Usually I did – because I knew them, or a friend knew them.
And like you, I have also been forced to eliminate some who I don’t need to be seeing every little thing they do, have contact with – or who for some reason have made me feel uncomfortable by status updates, pictures and comments. And some people I do not feel comfortable with them seeing every little thing about me either. But luckily this number is very small.
The other day I noticed my numbers were climbing up there again. “NO ONE has 800 or 1000 close friends”, I said to myself. I went through my list of “friends” and started eliminating based on whether or not I ever had a conversation with them. As I was cutting back my list – I noticed something. Most of these people are students, former students, past ministry life, or current friendships and church connections. And because I love being connected with those I have had a part in the investing process – I don’t want to cut it loose. Students grow up, get jobs, get married and have children – how much I would miss if I didn’t have them on facebook.
I guess the bottom line is this:
Yes I REALLY DO have 700 friends in my life. I would not have known that until I went to look at them closely, individually, one by one. Each face is a reminder of an event in both our lives that made that special connection. Some are people I know only through the blogging community and many of them I have been able to talk with on Skype, although I have not met them in person. They are daily contributors to my world of writing – and we have a common faith in Jesus Christ.
For those of you who are not aware who is on your friend list – I encourage you to do the same thing. Look at your list and for each person you keep, remember why they are in your life and what brought you to this point in time.
I love making new friends – but mostly the people who I remain in contact with are the relationships that have stood the test of time and have meaning in my life today.
I am thankful for facebook. It has allowed me to stay in touch and be a part of those I love as we share pictures, love and laughter together, encouraging and praying for each other – it helps to fill in those times when we can’t be together in person 🙂
As a teacher – facebook has been a great tool for keeping students and parents informed. I have a page for my music studio as well as one for my blog. These have both been great tools of communication!
And I’m a sucker for former and current students “dropping by” my page and saying “hello” to me 🙂
How many “friends” do you have on facebook?