Are we friends?

When I joined Facebook 11 years ago I think I was like a lot of people and added people that I may not have known really well but figured if they sent me a friend request then I should accept. I belonged to a group on Facebook for Twinless Twins and added more “friends”. But there came a time when I realized that they weren’t friends they were more like acquaintances. Some I have never met but we communicate a lot by email and others I have met and the only communication we have is when they post to wish me a happy birthday. I don’t know how someone can have hundreds of friends on Facebook because I only communicate with a dozen regularly.
A few years ago I took off some because I got to the point where I realized it wasn’t about how many friends I had but whether I could actually consider that person a friend. For me friends are the people that I would phone if I needed them in an emergency. The real friends are the ones who asked how Mom was when she was in the hospital. The people who sent condolences when she died. I have twin friends who live in the US and we talk by email. I send a Christmas card to a few (and some electronically).
We use social media to “connect” with people but how do we know whether that person is putting their authentic self out there. I looked over photos on a friends page and told her she had an exciting year. She responded that looks can be deceiving, it’s not real life. We post the flattering photos. While the photo of my friend and I at Christmas is good I hated the haircut (it was just at the point where it was almost growing out to a decent length).
Because I’m a what you see is what you get type of person I will post that I had a cranky day. One day I went to the grocery store with my shirt on inside out (a friend commented she’s done it!). I’m familiar with what party most of my public school friends vote for. For the most part I don’t post things on politics or religion. My Mom always said that there is a reason it’s called a secret ballot. Social media is not a place to argue about politics.
Since my coffee buddy is a teacher right now she is busy with teaching and coaching after school. I sent her an email recently after having a frustrating day. She understands what it means for me to honour my family. She rejoiced with me when I found this apartment and laughed at my lone chair when my furniture was on back order. A memory came up today on Facebook…a video actually. Many pictures of a family that has included me in theirs. We still share the story about Janet giving our friend “the look” because he had holes in his jeans. They loved Janet too.

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