Real Friends in a Virtual World

According to author William Deresiewicz in his book on friendships, in 1985 only one in ten Americans reported that they had no close confidants. Twenty years later, one in four said they had no close confidants.

Researchers are discovering that the rise of technology and social networking have contributed to the decline of informal social gatherings. People very seldom get together for dinner over someone’s house. People gather less around one another and more around social networking.

A person can have a thousand friends on Facebook and be very, very lonely and alone. The very technologies that have been created to bring us together are, in effect, driving us apart and causing people to feel as though they are drifting in a sea of virtual friends.

God created us in His image. God from the very beginning existed in a community of three: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, He made us to be in relationship with one another.

When He created Adam, He saw that He was alone and said that it was not good (Genesis 2:18). We were not created to be alone, but to be in community with others.

Friendships are an important part of our spiritual lives. Good, spiritual friendships help us grow. They are not meant to just make us feel better, but to help us become better.

For example, a good friend tells us when we are missing the mark. This happens face to face and not normally on Facebook. Proverbs 27:6 teaches us that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” A good, spiritual friend tells us what we need to hear and not just what we want to hear.

Enjoy your time social networking. Just remember that the Lord created us to have real friendships and not just virtual ones.

Something to think about…