Friends – Facebook, MySpace, or Friend Of …

December 8, 2008 at 11:33 am 4 comments

I’ve been reading Frank Viola’s blog and recent book, “Reimaging Church” and have been enjoying both. Frank recently blogged asking, “What’s the deal with friends?” Here’s a stamp I created in response to Frank’s Christmas wish: friendoforganic

I’m enjoying connecting with people on blogs and MySpace and Facebook, but I wonder if we are cheapening friendship with all our “friend of” stamps and friend requests on MySpace or Facebook? Or rather are we elevating friendship to be more inclusive, celebrating different levels of friendship?

My husband in not into any of this social networking stuff and doesn’t get my girls lifestyle of texting and connecting with friends on MySpace, he even joking calls their social networks “YourFace” whenever they ask to use the computer asking in response, “What do you need to use the computer for, to check YourFace?”

My husband, Ken, is not alone in thinking this generation and their social networks are difficult to understand, check out this video which starts out, “Hey Moron…”

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Missional Misgivings and Malformed Metaphors Half-baked Blog Topics

4 Comments

  • 1. Chandra  |  December 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Interesting thoughts. I don’t think social networks cheapen friendship at all. In fact it can be a very positive way for introverts or those teased/ostracized by society to find acceptance and friends without the confines of the physical area you live in. The internet for how much people (especially parents) want to say it’s bad because of those who abuse it, is a wonderful and great way to make, maintain or connect with long lost friends. Facebook and MySpace weren’t designed to bring total strangers together but to further connect people who might not get to spend alot “facetime” together.

    Truth is- Without the internet I would not be here today. FACT…. no getting around it. My senior year and the couple years right after High School were some of the darkest and most hopeless times in my life. It was on the internet connecting with people of simular background, interests or personality that pulled me out of those thoughts and eventually led to my return to the church.

    I felt I could be myself in a way I can’t be in person. To some degree that remains true to this day even though I work hard now to be that same person in real life.

    Those friends I met are still mostly a part of my life today. And even though we are not in the same cities and so cannot be a part of each others everyday life, they are still close and dear friends to me and the ones I depend on when it hits the fan. They are the people who have stuck by me and continue to accept me for who I am which is not something I can say for any of my “IRL” friends.

    I don’t think the internet cheapens friendship at all, it’s like anything in this life, if you are true to yourself and let others see you for who you are you will find people who can accept that, whether it’s online or not.

  • 2. Elizabeth Chapin  |  December 14, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Chandra, thanks for sharing some of your story here and how internet friendships have made a difference for you. I certainly enjoy the new friends I have made through this blog as well as on Facebook, so while the networks were not designed to bring total strangers together, I have found some people want to be my friend once they read my blog. I’m glad we have been able to keep in touch in this online world since we don’t see each other as much IRL 😉

  • 3. Tim Inman  |  December 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Hey Elizabeth, thanks for checking out my blog. I left off comments for that post about fractals because I know what the Internet can be like and I didn’t want it to turn into a creation/evolution flame war 🙂

    I’ve been on twitter for a while, but I’ve been active a little more lately because I am about to launch a new website for kids: http://www.kidbuilder.net. Check it out early, if you like.

    I like your blog. It’s fun and intelligent – and your and your husband’s Simpson’s characters are really cool. ‘Been seeing those around. I am wondering if someone made those personally for you or if you found them somewhere.

    I’m sure I’ll be checking back in!

  • 4. Jason Clark  |  January 3, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I think social media generally does flatten and make most things shallow, giving the perception of connection and authenticity whilst doing the opposite.

    On the other hand it can do something very different, connect people in the most amazing ways and it does.

    It’s like any other media for connection in history in that sense.

    Have you seen:
    ‘Why We Don’t Talk To Each Other Anymore: The De-Voicing of Society’ by John Locke, the best book on what happens to humans with technology and communication that I have come across.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Talk-Other-Anymore-Voicing/dp/0684855747

    Cheers, and happy new year!

    Jason

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