Facebook Friends?

I’ve learned the hard way that just because you’ve been “friended” on Facebook, doesn’t necessarily mean you have new friends.  There’s no guarantee that you’ve reconnected with a very old friend either. Really, all you have done is clicked a button that possibly signifies ” we knew each other in passing 45 years ago.”  It’s not a given that you will renew these friendships with vigor.  It’s not the ideal setting for an old fashioned reunion .Been there, done that. I’ve learned the hard way that just because someone accepts your “friendship” does not mean they want to be your friend.

I  have friends that I have great fondness for because of our shared childhood. Race to the present and I have nothing in common with them anymore or them with me. Is that enough to call it a friendship?  A past friendship? An acquaintance? “A long-time acquaintance?

I was truly too naive for Facebook.  Initially I thought that once we were “friends” we really would stay in touch or reconnect, even meet.  That’s not always how it works, that’s how I wished it worked. Cynical and distrustful  doesn’t come naturally to me but I’m learning fast. “Facebook” as we know it is really is a facade.  Faux friends.

My children collect ” friends” on Facebook like my son used to collect baseball  or Pokemon cards. The more you have, the cooler you must be. Some adults fall prey to this as well. I’m not one of them.

A friend to me is one that I can count on. Always. I may not see this person more than a couple of times a year but I know for sure that if I needed him/her at 3AM for any reason, they would be there. No questions asked.  That is a true friend. One that holds you in their hearts, and would do anything for you at anytime. It’s more than just someone you have had  brief experience with in the past. Someone that is there for you through thick and thin, hot and cold, ups and downs and all around.  The truth about friendship is that you really don’t need 623 friends. It doesn’t mean anything. What matters is that you have a few people in your life that you count on and they count on you. It’s common sense and a no-brainer but I fell for the whole new concept of being “friended” too.

I actually felt hurt when some of my so-called friends  on Facebook did not have any interest  in planning a reunion or picking up the pieces that were dropped years ago.    Facebook is not a real reflection of the amount of friends that you have. It’s only the amount of people you can collect.

So, for many of the people I “friended” I’m sorry.  Fantasy is nice, but reality is what counts. For all the Matthews, Linda’s, Susie’s that I” friended” I should have known better.I’m old fashioned and I wanted to believe that we could just pick up where we left off 25 years ago. I should have known that when you don’t hear from people it’s because they don’t want to be friends with you anymore or do not have the capacity for it.  True friendship comes with instinct and the feeling you get when you know you like and trust a person.  It also comes with time.

Recently I became friends with a woman named Sarah. We’ve known each other for years and I often thought I would like to get to know her but neither of us did anything about it.  This year, when I saw her, I took a chance. I plunged. I  asked if she would like to get together sometime for coffee. She said “yes.” We’ve gotten together many times now and I consider her one of my new best friends. We talk about our children, we talk about us as parents, we share things, and we don’t judge each other. We are here to support each other. When I was sick, she brought me flowers and DVD’s to watch.  The true meaning of friendship does not come by way of Facebook, it comes with chemistry, instinct and a slight bit of chance.  Making a new friend is fairly uncommon at our ungodly ages but it worked. And, as the kids say, she’s my new BFF and I didn’t meet her on Facebook, I met her half way.