I have almost 300 facebook friends.
And I don’t think I can call one of them to just vent tonight. Or go shopping with, or out to dinner, or to a movie.
I understand I am in a unique situation when it comes to not being able to make friends. I work strange hours and have a policy against developing close friends at work(this is absolutely not a slam on anyone I work with; in fact, I find many of them interesting, funny people that I would love to hang out with, and probably will if I ever change jobs), I work opposite my husband so we rarely have a day off together, we work opposite Sundays so church isn’t an option, the typical mother’s groups/MOPS programs are either evenings I work or days I don’t have childcare. My kids are young and not in day care, and even when they are older they will be homeschooled, so no friends through kids.
I understand this is not a typical situation, and so I am not speaking about my situation in particular.
I am speaking about society in general. We as a culture have chosen hundreds of superficial friendships based on pithy social media postings over a select few friendships based on deep conversations and shared interests. We have chosen the many over the few, the cheap over the superficial.
Why is this?
I think because it is easier.
It’s easier to throw a comment onto a facebook post than call someone and ask how they are doing.
It’s easier to post a comment than to invite someone over for dinner and invest your time and energy into them.
It’s easier to scroll through pictures than take an afternoon to have a playdate with someone you don’t know well.
It’s easier, and safer, to be superficial, than to put the time and effort and vulnerability into developing a close friendship.
And I think that we are all, from me personally to us as a society, poorer spiritually and emotionally for it.