Most often I feel like an open book. There's not much I won't discuss or talk about when in conversation with others. Yet there remains things left unsaid, reserved for an elect group. Individuals who consistently show up in my life to love me, encourage me, and challenge me. I seek them out for laughter, support, and advice. I reveal to them my mess, my hurt, my anger, and they respond to me with grace and and empathy. We ask the real questions, and take the time to listen to the honest answers. These are my people. A friendship built and earned. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes compromise - to become a Friend and welcome a Friend.
I've met some incredible people through online resources, and some have moved offline and turned into beautiful friendships that I am so grateful for! I have made friends with people in places I have never been, the chances that we would have met any other way besides the internet is slim. I am so grateful for social media and the access it makes available, so those relationships could be made! But in a world that is so connected, I think we've blurred the lines on what being connected really means and the work it should require.
I fear we've made light the responsibility and privilege it is to be someone's Friend, as if minimal effort is required to earn its title. Like we owe our followers the ins and outs of our life simply because of a few double taps and a follow back.
And in this cycle, we've neglected the people who do show up in our lives. And in the name of social media, we've made it acceptable. You, me, and coffee - and your 1k IG followers as you snap another photo for the apps. While they're telling a story, we're checking our Instagram. On a new adventure, wait lets take a picture first. When did presence not become enough. When did being a friend get so watered down. Since when did this online world, become more important than the community we're physically in. I think it's time to give Friend more credit.
Those of us who have community online exist in two worlds, our physical one and our virtual one. We lay our heart out for strangers to see online, in exchange for a couple emoji comments and a big heart sign. Are we showing up for the people physically in our vicinity too? There needs to be a balance between the two. Where are we spending our time, giving our life? Are we being a friend of presence or popularity?
Before we show up online, I think we need to ask ourselves, "Have I showed up here first?" I think its time to live Friend up to more of its purpose.