Are Facebook Friends "Real" Friends?

Dear Online Friend,

I've heard several people commenting, lately, about how Facebook Friends are not real friends. Or saying that online people who you've never met in person don't really care about you.

I think it's not a matter of having met someone in person, but how you make each other feel. 

There was another study that said being on social networking sites, including Facebook, can make you feel worse, because you see people's 'good' photos, their successes, their loves, their vacations at the beach, and feel your life doesn't measure up.

But I find that MY online and Facebook friends uplift me, encourage me, pray with me, cry with me, laugh with me, teach me, inspire me and are a pure blessing from God.

We share our stories, our gardening photos, our cute kid and animal videos, favorite songs, chat about our favorite shows, and touch base with a simple click of a "Like" button about things our FBFs hold dear.

Say what you will, in many of our lives, it's become something we look forward to, and are uplifted by.

If people aren't feeling better after connecting online, I think the problem may not be in the process, but in the Friends' feeds they're choosing to show on their pages. 

There ARE Negative Nellies: those who are always trying to change everyone else's political views (like that's gonna happen, lol), who are trying to play the victim, criticizing and complaining rather than praising and building.
Those are the ones you unclick the 'show in news feed' choice for.

Those who inspire you, you keep.
Like this FB Friend of mine, who posted the following:

"With my son Austin starting high school next year, I just received a very kind message from his teacher that I have to brag on for a minute. Here is what the teacher says, 'I am really going to miss Austin next year. He is such a sweet young man. I don't know if he has told you or not, but he has taken the responsibility of taking care of one of my wheelchair students. He wasn't asked to, he just did it. He helps her with her work, gluing, etc. He also spends his free time with her doing various fun things. It just melts my heart to see how good a young man he really is. You have done an excellent job parenting!' 
    The mom goes on to say, "I see Austin, myself, wheeling this student out when we pick him up after school. He is a unique, sweet guy, but it's not just parenting, it's the natural, kind, decent instincts he has.  So proud of him, and all three of my boys. They all have such big, tender hearts."

I love that!

I encourage you to ignore the naysayers about whether an online friend is a real friend. Do you feel supported and happy? Take that and run with it!

I say, "Keep bragging on people who do good things, keep posting old photos of your family and cute pictures of your pets, keep sharing your joy and letting your Facebook Friends pray for you when you're hurting or sick."  

We may NEVER meet, in person, but I care about you, my online friend. Whether we meet here, on FB or in person, I'm thankful for you, and I pray for you to be happy, healthy and successful.

I'll be talking with you... somewhere!

Love from Anna Marie

Talk back to me: annamarie@mix929.com
or on Facebook

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