October 18, 2010

Sam in Real Life

If you're visiting from Rachel Olsen's Blog Carnival, welcome!! If you'd like to know more about linking up on this fun ride, visit Rachel's blog.

Instead, it is you - my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed… ~Psalm 55:13-14

Friendship is a diminishing of distance between people. ~Keith Richards

Text messages, Facebook updates, Twitter tweets, blog posts... they sure can fool you into thinking you know a person. Truth is, anyone is allowed to be, well, anyone on social networking sites! Slap on a few pictures of the kids smiling, add a funny quip, stir, and zippitty-do-da! out comes the illusion of a fairy tale perfect life.

Now, I appreciate social networking. Hours of clicking photo after photo of my best-friend-from-third-grade-but-we-haven’t-talked-in-20-years proves it! If a picture speaks a thousand words, then I’d say a thousand times over she’s happyhappyhappyhappy….

Facebook and Twitter made me believe another friend I grew up with had a life full of sunshine and butterflies too. After reconnecting and talking over email, we got our old gang back together to do a Bible study.

And there is where the walls tumbled down. All the pretty pictures of her kids on the first day of kindergarten didn’t show the ten meltdowns they had that morning. Quips of the romantic get-away with the hubster didn’t tell of the months of marital counseling to save their marriage. And all the status updates could never relay the depth of depression or insignificance she felt.

If not for our Bible study, I would not have known the real story behind the story. I would have missed the opportunity to encourage and cheer her on; to live the daily ups and downs with her.

Now hear me on this. Keep posting your cute pics and funny sayings. I enjoy them as much as the next gal. But please do not start spilling your innermost secrets on Facebook or reveal every emotion you ever felt on Twitter. You want to protect yourself and your family. Living room couches, coffee shop tables, and park benches, not social networking sites, are the places to share!

We were made to do life with others. We need friends who know us and can look us in the eye and read our expressions. Our souls crave to take off the mask, let our guard down, and pour out the depths of who we are to a safe, confidential few. Relationships sustained by status updates and retweets can only go to certain depths. Real life is lived in real conversations had in real time.

It’s been two years since that Bible study. My friend and I continue to live life—real life—together. I hope you have someone(s) you can do that with too. If not, can I encourage you to find a few friends who you can just "be" with? Here are some thoughts to get started:
~ Reconnect with old friends or ask newer friends that you talk with often over Facebook or Twitter who live near you
~Start a group through church, neighborhood, etc. You could do a Bible study {all P31 resources are 31% off this week!!}, dinner club, weekly park outings, coffee over conversation…
~Commit to confidentiality and be willing to open up and trust. My Bible study group has a confidentially agreement, which includes not sharing with husbands, parents or best friends, even if they don’t know us.

If you already have a group of friends you share with, please leave a comment! We’d love to hear about how you became friends and what you do together! Oh, and don't forget to visit Rachel's blog!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. ~Ecclesiastes 4


Pam said...

I love your thoughts - great post!

AveryHome said...

True, true, true. You said it all and said it well! There is nothing better than sweet friendship- in real life.

Allison Morrison said...

so true...nothing like the real thing (face to face)

Kandi said...

Well said, my favorite line was this, we were made to do life with others, we need friends who know and can look us in the eye and read our expressions, loved that.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. Social networking sites are not the place to bear our souls. God gave us "Sisterhoods" for that. Facebook and Twitter cannot hug us or dry our tears.
Thanks for your words.

Caroline said...

I was just talking with several mothers recently about "intentional community" and doing as you said here: "be willing to open up and trust." Such an important thing to do in real friendships!

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Great post! I love what you said:
"But please do not start spilling your innermost secrets on Facebook or reveal every emotion you ever felt on Twitter. You want to protect yourself and your family. Living room couches, coffee shop tables, and park benches, not social networking sites, are the places to share!"
Amen sister!!!


Anonymous said...

So true - real friendship is so much messier than our cyber images!

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Y'all!! So encouraged other sisters are feeling this message too! I'm often times saddened that friendships seem to have been reduced to tweets and status updates.

Here's to loving well - in real life- with real girlfriends!

Love, Sam

Melissa Taylor said...

I'm so glad we are real friends :)

Love you. Great post. So true!

Sheena said...

I agree with you totally.

I am so a meet together, spend time together kind of gal.

I believe that that is so crucial in a friendship.

Which reminds me I have not really done that lately.

Thanks for the reminder.

I will work on it.

Sweet blessings


Robin said...

This is so true! I loved this. Intimacy. That is what we lose with facebook and twitter. It's in intimacy where walls can come crumbling down. Great job!

Rachel Olsen said...

This was a vital contribution to the friendship topic, Sam!

So very glad to count you as friend.

Anonymous said...

Wow awesome post! Yes it's vitally important to do real life friendships!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Satterfield said...

I have seriously been considering "quitting" facebook b/c it makes me depressed at times to see how "perfect" others' lives are when my doesn't seem so perfect nor is there hope of it ever being so "perfect". I can totally relate to this post, Sam!