The most good friends I have ever been able to manage at one time is three very close friends. By that I mean the kind of friend I would put my life on hold for in an emergency and who would put their life on hold for me if I have an emergency. From time to time, this has been tested both ways.
When I hear people talking about having five hundred friends on Facebook it makes me wonder what their criteria is for the definition of a friend. I don’t know about the Facebook users but I know from my own experiences that friendships take a great deal of time and energy.
I can’t imagine calling one of my friends with a real emergency and them telling me that they were going to a party and for me to call back the following night. Nor can I imagine saying that to one of my friends. In fact, on the rare occasion it has been put to the test, I have been very grateful for the friends I have chosen.
Good friends are like manna from heaven. The connection is so deep that you can almost know what the other one is thinking and feeling. Therefore, when I hear people talking about their five hundred Facebook friends I’m almost exhausted thinking how exhausted they must be nurturing so many people at one time.
Perhaps their concept of a friend differs markedly from my own. Then I think about my many acquaintances and I have a feeling that I expend more time and energy on them than most Facebook users do on their five hundred friends.
I can’t imagine making arrangements to go out to lunch with five hundred of my closest friends. I would have to hire a banquet room and then it wouldn’t be a simple luncheon date; it would be a formal affair in a hotel. Nor can I imagine going on a vacation with any of these five hundred faceless Facebook friends.
I think I’ll pass on the five hundred Facebook friends and stick to my two or three real friends. I bet if I call one of them for an impromptu lunch, we could meet at a restaurant within the hour.