My own brand of friendship for those close at hand finds me at a friend's door with a pot of chicken soup in times of infirmity.
My friends share my joys and my private sorrows, my triumph and my pain.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a friend's laughter ... and nothing more soothing than the sound of a friend's voice in a time of grief.
The word "friend" is bandied about in social media and virtual "friends" are now commodities, their numbers are counted as assets, and connection is tied to focused engagement plans. I am reconsidering my social media engagement plan as part of my quarterly review and I am making several adjustments to honor old world notions of friendship.
New Facebook Engagement Strategy
My Facebook friend strategy remains a subset of my personal friends/professional aquaintances life syllabus. I am adapting a revised strategy to make my Facebook Wall more inviting, with richer heart-based content for everyone in my life who connects with me there.
- I do not accept Facebook "gifts" of any kind on my Wall if they require someone to click a link and ask for access to personal information and friend lists. When I see those "gifts" I am grateful for the kind thoughts attached, but I delete them immediately, and I block the applications. If you try to send me a "gift" and are puzzled when you do not see it on my Wall, please do not be offended.
- Videos, music, and photos do not fall into the category of unacceptable Facebook "gifts."
- Chicken soup is always welcome. (Can you imagine a nice way to meet a Facebook friend in real life?)
- I unfriend people whose toxic behavior offends me.
- There are some people in my Facebook friend community who are there because it makes sense from a strategic perspective, even though I do not particularly like or respect them. I will start to weed them out.
- There are many people in my Facebook friend community who have totally different political views than I have ... I look forward to continued engagement with them, sharing our differences. I love energetic, respectful, and thoughtful discussion among people.
- There are many people in my Facebook friend community I have never met in person. I want to get to know them better and I look forward to continued engagement in the virtual world.
- Increasingly, family members and old friends are connecting on Facebook. I cherish these connections and I look forward to more engagement with special friends and family.
- Sometimes we need space from people following seriously fractured relationships. I'm convinced a social media connection does not replace a friendship gone sour. I have some unconnecting to do in this department also.
- I will execute silent disconnects in cases where I have not met people personally. I will write a personal exit note in other instances.
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden. ~Abraham Cowley, The Garden, 1666