Warning, this may get long-winded.
I believe I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. In some ways it is amazing and has kept me informed and connected with family and friends. It has helped me to find long lost friends and relatives I may not have otherwise discovered. It also has a wonderful community aspect with Church groups, or garage sale groups, mom groups, etc. – and it has facilitated me meeting real live people, you know, in person. For this I am eternally appreciative.
However; the onset of this social media epidemic has actually ended up isolating some people. Especially those who work from home, or moms who stay at home, or those of us who do both.
With permission, I am copying and pasting here something a friend of mine, Kay, posted on Facebook today. I actually know this friend IRL “In Real Life”. I went to Church with her in another city, and have done business with her several times. She is kind, genuine, honest, sweet, giving, helpful, fun, hilarious, adorable, authentic and of great moral character. She’s an awesome mom, with a fabulous husband, who runs a home-based business from her house. So here is what she posted:
“Wanted: A friend to go walking with / cook with / golf with / go shopping / go out to lunch with on occasional Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel so incredibly lonely and isolated staying at home. Tired of calling people and “fishing” for a friend to spend time with. Tired of people who say we should get together, but blow me off. Tired of being the only one who calls, but the same people don’t call me. Most of my friends work during the day or live far away. So if you are out there in cyber world and want to hang out in real life please let me know. Trust me, I have references that I am a good friend, I am a funny story teller, and I am worth doing something with. Boy, I sound pitiful, but I don’t want to waste time on people who don’t care anymore. Just private message me.”
Now, here is my question: How many of you out there have felt exactly the same way? I know I have. I told her I did not think it was a pathetic or pitiful post at all, but rather brave and honest. I know when I moved to my current city a bit over two years ago, I was very lonely and quite miserable. We had a hard time finding a Church home at first, and I had zero female friends to meet up with, in real life. I had gazillions of online friends and tons of social media interaction … but honestly, it is NOT the same. And it shouldn’t be the same.
About a year ago or more, I posted something similar to Kay’s post – just not as detailed. It was something to the effect of ‘Accepting applications for best friend, please apply in person’ … short and simple. Do you know that the only people who commented were either far away friends or online friends I’ve never met. I realize folks may have thought I was kidding or that it was a rhetorical inquiry … but it was an interesting experiment none-the-less.
Nobody wants to be the one who makes all the effort. Relationships are typically quite important to women. Even if you’re an introvert and not necessarily a social butterfly, you still need solid friendships with real people, the kind you can hug.
Present day, I dare say, I now have some incredible women in my REAL life. Some are from Church, some are not, but God heard my plea. I was diligent and consistent in my prayer for female friendship. I also realized that I couldn’t just wish for it or hope for it, I had to do a bit of asking and inviting myself. Sometimes friendships are seasonal, and sometimes they are eternal .. but they are vital … so please be sure to nurture them.
Who can you call today? Who can you send a hand written note of encouragement? Who could use your help with babysitting or listening? Who can you invite into your circle? Who can you count on? Who can count on you?
Loneliness is real. But it doesn’t have to be an epidemic. Below is a picture of a great friend. Her name is Lisa. We met when I was barely out of high school. We lost touch for a period of probably five years or so and she missed the birth of all my kids – but God Bless Facebook because that is how we found each other again. I was so excited to hug her and share dessert with her on my last trip to Virginia. You know what is really cool about my gal Lisa? We could not be more different … seriously, completely different, and I’ve had this chic live with me on two separate occasions, lol. Friends like that, you just never want to lose.
As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady