why you’re not my “friend” on facebook anymore

Face­book has been in my life for a long time. I was one of the few who had an account when it was only open to those with school email addresses. I watched as it went pub­lic and the social net­work­ing world boomed. Regard­less of the social realm, I was a born net­worker and thrived on con­nect­ing with as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. By 2011 I had nearly 1300 friends which isn’t as many as some have but dou­ble of the aver­age user.

As I’m get­ting older, the value of friend­ships is being impressed heav­ily on me. I rec­og­nize the need for solid friends that encour­age and sup­port each other. I’ve been seek­ing out ways to become more inten­tional in my rela­tion­ships. When it came to social net­work­ing, a prob­lem pre­sented itself because it was impos­si­ble to be inten­tional with 1300 friends. Many of those so called friends I hadn’t talked to in years, and all they did was clut­ter my news feed with info that hid those I truly cared about.

If I was truly going to be inten­tional with my true friends, I needed to be able to con­sis­tently fol­low what was going on in their lives. Beyond that, I needed to take my inten­tion­al­ity a step fur­ther and only use Face­book as a cat­a­lyst to reach deeper into the lives of my friends by fol­low­ing through with phone calls, emails, and meet­ing in per­son. If I have no inten­tion of doing one of those 3 things, then they’re truly not “friends”, they fall more under the cat­e­gory of “acquain­tance” (though at one time they may have been more of a friend).

How do I net­work with those who don’t fall under “friend” but I want some vir­tual con­nec­tion? I use other social net­work avenues such as LinkedIn (for busi­ness) and Twit­ter (though I can’t define how I use it dif­fer­ently than fb, but I do).

Let me empha­size, though, that even if you elim­i­nate peo­ple on your social net­works, that doesn’t auto­mat­i­cally mean you get more qual­ity out of your rela­tion­ships. It takes dili­gence to go beyond press­ing the “Like” but­ton and using what peo­ple post on Face­book to spur con­ver­sa­tion on a deeper level. The most impor­tant of all is to “con­sider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb 10:24).

To date, I’ve gone from 1300 friends to 134. My name is Andrew Ran­dazzo and I’m more than just an avatar online, and I choose to be intentional.

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