Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.I have precious few true friends, with whom I can confide anything, knowing they will not judge or betray. In fact, I can probably count them on my fingers. That small number stands in stark contrast with my "friends" count on Facebook, currently nearing 600. And that's just fine with me.
- George Washington
Association is not the same thing as friendship. In this respect, many social networking sites have become glaring self-contradictions. Marketing on the individual's need for companionship, they've conveniently, perhaps subconsciously, mislabeled all our associations as friends. But is that true? Have the folks on your friends list truly earned the title?
If we're honest, I think we would all have to say we've allowed the word friend to become too commonplace, diluting its value to the point of near-worthlessness. And part of me wishes Facebook would change that label, for the good of society. Don't get me wrong. I value my Facebook friends. But I also know that there's something more precious. Just as our first Commander in Chief said,"True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."
Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, et al, will only sustain you so far in filling that lonely void of companionship that we all feel, keenly at times. Even true friends can fail us or have their own issues that keep them from always being there when we need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. There's only one true cure for loneliness. I've found Him. I don't always cultivate my relationship with Him like I should. But He is always there. He will never leave me nor forsake me.
So why do I spend so much time commenting on Facebook statuses and tweeting on Twitter, when the friendship of a lifetime is waiting right here, in my Bible and in prayer?