When 547 Facebook Friends + 832 Twitter Followers = A Negative Number

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He was quiet as we rode the elevator up to the third floor. The air was heavy with emotion, as anger and fear seemed to compete for air space alongside sadness and acceptance. We stood back for a moment as the doors opened, aware that the vessel which just lifted us up would also bring us down the moment we stepped out. His eyes filled with tears as he took a deep breath and exited. As we made our way down the hall to the dreary ICU waiting room to be given permission to proceed to room 328, I felt numb as I walked by his side. He valiantly tried to keep all he was feeling contained when it threatened to spill over, as though it was all he had left within his control. He leaned forward and held his head in his hands for what seemed like an eternity. I could no longer bear to look at him as I tried to keep my own emotions in check. I leaned my head back against the green vinyl chair and closed my eyes desperate to find courage in the brief darkness.

From somewhere across from me I heard, “He was my resume.”

I couldn’t, I wouldn’t open my eyes, and held my breath as he continued. “He knows me better than anyone. We’ve been through so much together. Whenever someone wouldn’t believe a story I was telling I would dial his number and ask him what we were doing on a particular date. I would hand the phone over and he would immediately re-tell the story with the same detail I had just shared. People were always stunned at just how connected we are.ย I can’t imagine life without him.”

I heard him stand and walk out, and I followed him to the area where we were to don gloves and masks before entering the room where his best friend was fighting for his life, for their life. He swiped at a few tears, pulled himself together before we entered and walked to the side of the bed immediately taking his hand, a daily routine for them in the last few months. I stood back for a moment, taking it all inโ€ฆtwo grown men, holding hands and expressing their love for each other, how grateful they are for one another. Two grown men who forged a lifelong friendship so many years ago as a couple of kids, and were trying to come to terms with the enemy that threatens to separate them.

All I could think as I left the hospital that night was how caught up we all get with the number of friends we have on Facebook or the number of followers on Twitter as though the escalating totals are evidence of how much we are loved. Maybe on a small scale it’s okay if it brings a bit of joy to our day, but on a grander scale it doesn’t amount to anything.

A real friend isn’t the person that shares our funny status/tweet or clicks the like button on a photo we post. A real friend is someone who was there for the funny moment. A real friend is the one by our side in the photo having real life experiences with us.

How many of those people who claim to be our friend will follow us in our darkest of times? In our final days, how many will sit by our bedside, hold our hand, ease our fears, and tell us they love us? How many of them truly know us? How many of them are our “resume?”

If you add up all your social media friends and followers and don’t come up with at least one person, one true friend, then maybe it’s time to devote some face to face time (and I don’t mean FaceTime) with the people in your life.

Don’t let your 547 Facebook friends and 832 Twitter followers add up to a negative number. The internet won’t catch you when you fall.

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34 thoughts on “When 547 Facebook Friends + 832 Twitter Followers = A Negative Number

  1. Pingback: Will The Internet Catch You When You Fall? « Little Miss Wordy

    • Ha ha! That’s the extent of my math skills. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Glad you enjoyed it. I love blogging and social media, but I still prefer a personal visit with a friend where I can see their expressions and experience a hug!

  2. Technology won’t ever replace the need of having someone with skin. Or the bear hugs, or the butterfly ones. Or the sparkling smile and loving eyes that touches and melts my heart. Or that special someone’ hairy legs (like my hubby’s) to cuddle up with.

  3. We are on social sites for different reasons, some just for goofing off, some to boost their ego, some for business. I met in person a few of my friends on FB and I talk live with a few more through FB video. My real friends don’t read any of my posts, blogs, etc. etc.. I hope they are not just the friends of “the good time” and hope they will be there for me when I will need someone.

  4. Living 3000 miles away from our friends and family has made social media a wonderful way to connect, but it’s nothing like spending real time together in real life doing real things. That is one reason why I adore meeting my blog friends in person!

    • We’ve lived far from family and friends for many years now, and social media has been a life line of sorts for me especially during the first few months of a relocation. I love to connect with people even if it’s only online, but like you, I would much rather spend real time in real life with them!

  5. Can I disagree?? I truly value my cyber friends. Our local friends can sometimes be just those who are close by. The law of propinquity brings you together. But cyber friends can be those very few people in the world who really get you; the weirdos just like you. And if you can get to actually meet then all the better but if not, well it is still of comfort to feel truly understood

    • Absolutely! I value my cyber friends as well and love the bond we’ve made here. My point in this particular post was more about the fact that chances are slim that our cyber friends will be the ones physically sitting at our bedside in our final days unless of course we’ve carried the cyber friendship to the physical level. There’s always that possibility and I’ve definitely heard such touching stories regarding those friendships too.

  6. I agree with most of it, though I do have friends and family who live far away that still share in my everyday joys and experiences thanks to social media. I do however get friend requests from people who would not say Hi to me if they passed me on the street which is really odd. Comforting wishes to your brother in law and his friend, Great post!

    • Thank you. It is actually my brother-in-law and his best friend that I was referring to, but I appreciate your prayers and comforting wishes all the same. Their friendship is definitely special.

  7. This was great writing. As always. You nade me think. Sometimes I’d actually rather spend the day writing, bumping into my cyber friends rather than making plans with the kind of friends you described here. Which

  8. Just had an email exchange with one of the few people I “met” via blogging who has become a friend in real life. All about how a lot of social media relationships are a mile wide and an inch thick. It’s something that I’m realizing and it’s causing me to re-think my whole blogging effort.

    • My point exactly. I’ve enjoyed meeting folks here in the Bloggerhood and getting to know them better. I imagine I could be friends with them in real life if circumstances allowed. However, face to face time and shared experiences take a friendship to a whole new level. What aspect of the blogging effort are you re-thinking?

      • I’m not exactly sure. It just feels like it’s kind of run its course for me, but I do need to maintain a presence for my publishing efforts and also to read the blogs that are of interest to me.

  9. So true. My best friend doesn’t even like my updates nor does she read my blog but she has been there for me since the beginning. I know that even if we are not connected online, we are connected through our hearts. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s exactly how this friend I mentioned is, and she sticks to her guns on it too. LOL! I’ve definitely been guilty of wishing a happy birthday on FB, but then end up sending a personal text or phone call if it’s someone close to me. Thanks for commenting.

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