Etiquette, Social Media and Friendships

As my kids grow and we continue to discuss the issue of friendships, this has given me pause in regards to friendships I have created.  In working with my kids I try to teach them to observe actions and make sure they back up what comes out of their mouths.  I repeatedly remind them to find friends who will remain true and enjoy your time with them.  Those are priceless and meaningful and impact our lives in significant ways. I would venture to say that no one makes it through life without learning the hard way about true friendships.

In my opinion true friendships posses healthy attributes like loyalty, trust, honesty, reliability, dependability and being able to call each other at any time.  When you make plans you stick to them and follow through.  You do life together, you share experiences and they help enrich your relationship.  Even during difficult times you work through them so your relationships are deepened and as a result those difficult times produce relationships which stand the test of time.

It does make me wonder how people look at friendships and the value placed on them today.  I’ve watched as well as dealt with what I consider to be rude and tactless.  Plans made in front of others that don’t include them.  Asking your friend to do something, make plans and at the last-minute cancel, even plans that have been made a year in advance.  Texts that make it sound as though it’s a really bad situation and when asked if they want to talk, never respond.  Telling someone you will always be there for them and then when they need you, you are to busy or something else has come up. These actions remind me of the Golden Rule – (treating others the way you want to be treated).  Now granted things do come up and we should extend grace to others.

Today making friends is different in the sense of how Social Media plays into all of this.  From MySpace and Facebook to Instant Messaging and Twitter and now HeyTell and Skype.  There are countless ways to stay connected.  We can make friends with folks in a matter of minutes and connect with them instantly at the touch of an app or a text. I have made connections with people through a variety of them and as I continue to build and deepen those I believe the rules of friendship still apply.  If I ever meet any of them in person (I have met some and plan on meeting more in person) I would still hold to my rules of friendship.

So what are your rules/expectations on friendships and how has social media played into that?


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

3 responses to “Etiquette, Social Media and Friendships

  • jelillie

    This is a really good question. Friendships are interesting things no two alike. But I think when most people talk about friendship today they really mean acquaintance. Acqauintance implies the rules of etiquette and familiarity without the same level of commitment. Now real friendship involves commitment and involvement it is the “never give up” relationship…through thick and thin. true friendships are a lot of work. I don’t think most people have the emotional space for too many of these. I have a lot of acquaintances and a few friends… All my acquaintances and friends are on social media. But true friendship must go beyond that contact.

  • Chris

    I’ve seen these things happen as well, and I sometimes feel that we live in a culture of non-commitment.

    I think friendship means loyalty and commitment, and I also expect openness in friendships. There are plenty of times when those things may not be convenient, or easy, but a true friend won’t let inconvenience get in the way (though, as you said, life itself sometimes does get in the way).

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