DINK #137 Friendship vs. Social Media

Posted on : 06-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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It’s pretty interesting to me that there seems to be a real up swell of activity and interest in defining what “true friendship” means in relationship to all the social media that is available to us today. Apparently some people start from the point of view that we humans were experiencing real connectedness and true friendship before technological advancements and now the evil social media and technology is stifling and preventing these friendships from growing, maturing or even occurring in some cases.

All the advancements that we are experiencing through technology in social media is not the evil doers, it is the users who decide how it will be used and in what capacity. If it is in the makeup of our brains, hearts and egos to delve into the superficial relationships that social media affords us, then that is what we will do. If, on the other hand, we are willing to make the investment in ourselves and others towards growing intimate connections with other people, we will do that to with or without social media. All that social media has done is offered us more layers to dive into acquaintanceships or friendships whether it is shallow or deep.

The kind of friendships I enjoy today are ones where we help each other to grow as people, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For me, true friendships are the ones where you have each others back no matter what, that you accept the good with the bad and where you are willing to step out on the emotional ledge of uncomfortableness to be honest in what you see in each other, no matter how good or bad.

Author John O’Donohue talks about The Kalyana-Mitra in this way, “The Buddhist tradition has a lovely concept of friendship, the notion of the Kalyana-mitra, the noble-friend. Your Kalyana-Mitra, your noble friend, will not accept pretension but will gently and very firmly confront you with your own blindness. No one can see his life totally. As there is a blind spot in the retina of the human eye, there is also in the soul a blind side where you are not able to see. Therefore you must depend on the one you love to see for you what you cannot see for yourself. Your Kalyana-mitra compliments your vision in a kind and critical way. Such friendship is creative and critical; it is willing to negotiate awkward and uneven territories of contradiction and woundedness.”

In other words, a true friendship is one that can weather both friends seeing the other as clearly as they are able–good and bad—and their reflection is received gladly from the other. I have friends like this and I am eternally grateful for their ability to see the me that I am unable to see.

My experience using social media is that it can be a wonderful tool to grow friendships if you already have the internal tools in place to know how to grow friendships. Social media is just a tool, it is not a result.

Now I’m going to turn off my pc for the day and go enjoy the rest of Sunday with my very true friend, my husband. I hope you will go enjoy the day with a very true friend or explore what true friendship means for you.