How many times have you checked Facebook today? How many Facebook friends do you have? I have 1,636 friends: but before you think I’m some sort of legendary socialiser, I actually only know under half of them in real life! This is a problem, as social media encourages a transitory style of friendship, not something with the authenticity our souls crave.
What is friendship? Here’s my go at a simple definition: a friend is someone you know, like, trusts and have a relationship with. It’s a two-way thing.
I’ve noticed this is really hard to achieve on social media for two reasons:
Deception is at the heart of social media. We think we’re in control and we think we know people, but the biggest deception is that we’ve been tricked into thinking this is enough for friendship. We need real friendships.
For most of my life I longed to belong, to be popular, to be known, to be heard. Social media was the platform where I was able to manipulate the image of myself to achieve some of these things. However, when I became a Christian I realised that this was not enough.
With God there is no “showing-off” my good side – He knows my best and my worst! This understanding set me free! I realised that I don’t have to fake it anymore and that I will never be perfect. Knowing this helps me to love my friends more authentically.
When you are at Uni, you develop plenty of skills for socialising and meeting new people. Here are some top tips for taking a relationship from social to authentic.
Having authentic friendships is good for us (and also helps our attempts at sharing the gospel come across as more real). So who will you invest your time into? Take some time to think of one or two people that you would truly like to know, and then get in touch. Facebook them perhaps… #jk
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