Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Friends of Convenience

I've been thinking the past few weeks about the nature of relationships and communication.  We have SO many ways we can communicate with people now:

  • phone
  • text
  • email
  • snail mail
  • in person
  • facebook, google +
  • blogs
  • twitter
  • instant messenger
  • online discussion forums
It really blows my mind how easy and how many choices we have.  With all these modes of communication, you think that relationships and communication would be enhanced.  But I don't think this is the case.  I think the ease of communication almost cheapens relationships.  It brings less value to them and we tend to not appreciate them as much.

I'm not saying this is true for all relationships.  I think that these methods of communication can enhance an already established relationship, or start a new one.  But for a relationship to last on those alone is tough.

Many of us spend a lot of time online (I'm guilty as charged), and we "live" in a virtual world.  I think that the adversary can use this against us to minimize the need for actual person to person contact.  He minimizes the need for a body by getting us to believe that living virtually is enough.  It is not.

Living virtually leaves your soul hungry.  It might give you little fixes (aka adult conversations) but they always leave you wanting, needing more.  And if we keep turning to virtual sources for nourishment for our soul, it will never be satisfied.

Now, these are extremes of course.  This is a big reason I got myself off Facebook.  I was starving so to speak.  There was life all around me, but I was wrapped up in the virtual world.  Most people can self-moderate.  I missed that lesson somewhere along the way and lack that skill.

So what does this have to do with friendships of convenience?  Well, I will tell you.  ;)

In the past, you were friends with your neighbors because they were close and convenient.  In today's world, not many of us even know our neighbors.  We meet people at work, at school, online, etc.  Then we "Facebook" them or get their number and text them.  They could live next door or on the other side of the world.  It doesn't matter anymore if they are physically close to you anymore or not.  It doesn't matter if you run in the same circles or not, you can create a new one.

For me, I tend to nourish the relationships in which we have a common form of preferred communication.  It's convenient for me, it's easy.  I don't have to get out of my comfort zone.  So if you are a fan of indirect communication (texting, email, etc), I'm your gal.

This also makes it easier to leave "friends" by the way side.  When I left Facebook, I knew that many of my "friends" would be heard of no more.  That was okay with me.  Not that I didn't care for those friends....I am a friend hoarder afterall.  It was more that I needed to see who wanted and was willing to invest in me with time and effort and vice versa.  It's been interesting to see how the chips have fallen.  Ones that I was worried about losing, I haven't.  Some whom I didn't think would stick around have.  And some that I'm sure would be there have faded into the distance.  I don't think more or less of people either way.  I just find it interesting.  ;)

There are certain people and relationships that I miss.  But what amazes me is how many people say that they miss me being on Facebook.  I think it's my fabulous humor and whit that they miss the most.  ;)


Heather VDB said...

Seeee, that's what I was talking about a while ago. (at least I think we're on the same page here) I want the REAL stuff. I'm getting so burned out on the VIRTUAL relationships. I'm almost feeling resentful that people will say, "but I don't have time, but I'm always online, this is where all my other friends are"

I feel like I'm almost forced to be online in order to foster some of my friendships. It's very frustrating. Stop saying you miss me, and freaking call me, send me a card, ask me what's really going on in my life instead of just laughing at me being a snarky B on facebook.


Allison Black said...

I know that you are probably sick of hearing this, but I am so happy for you. It is so great to experience the Nicole that I went through high school with...the one that I shared a room with....the one I wore shoe-bag hats with....the one I set up illegal roadblocks with....the one that would give me a brutally honest opinion and love me when I dod my own thing anyway....CAPTAIN PICKARD!! Your committment to positive change is insipring and I couldn't be more proud to be your sister.

Nicole said...

alli....you made me cry. :) in a good way though.

and heather...we are totally on the same page. i'm to the point though that if i feel i HAVE to be online to nurture a relationship, then maybe i need to reevaluate it.

Allison Black said...

It's what I do....make people cry. It's kind of my thing...you are the first "good" cry in a long time though. =P I kid, I kid...kind of.

Debbie said...

I started to comment yesterday at work but actually had folks come in interested in a home...yippeee!!

I'm with Allison! I am so happy and proud of you and your journey on reclaiming your 'self'! You are stronger than you think and such an example to so many.

I know I am guilty of the easiness of keeping in touch through social media...I think it's good in theory but can eliminate us reaching out and connecting with family, friends and neighbors on a more personal and intimate level. I've enjoyed 'seeing' what's going on in people's lives that I haven't seen in 20 years, but I also know that I don't always make the effort to connect with my family and friends like I need to and should do.

Your thoughts here on your Blog are good thoughts for me too...thanks for sharing! Love you sweetie!!