Article by Nick Eller
It has become ever so apparent to me just how valuable the word “friend” is these days. Like many things in our society, we have used it so many times that it has lost its true meaning. What do I mean by this? Well, I have two “experiments” to back this up.
Anyone who follows Jesse Wojdylo knows about his exodus from Facebook. I will never forget him telling me how he sent messages out to all his “friends” on Facebook and told them he was leaving. He asked that if they wanted to remain in touch to reply back with their number. I believe he got three messages back. I’ll never forget him telling me, “You need to surround yourself with people that want to make the effort to be in your life.” This powerful statement has stuck with me ever since that day. To be honest, when I deactivated, I didn’t bother with sending any messages. Ironically, the three to four people that I consider true friends, those that have been there for me and support me, they were already on Google+.
Fast forward a few weeks ahead, my wife was noticing a difference in my attitude. Like any good wife that sees a change, she started to snoop around and find the reason. She noticed me using g+ on my phone and started asking questions. I had to share the news that I was introduced to a site that had thought provoking conversation that I felt made me a better person. I found somewhere I could grow and I was talking about my frustration from all the whining and nonsense on Facebook. Now, it was time for her to make a switch.
After a long hangout with Jesse showing all the advantages of Google+ she really wanted to make the switch. But, there were reservations, as with many people. Facebook has become the norm. At first, it was her way of communicating with her family. However, she convinced herself it was ok to call them and go see them just as much as she messaged with them on that site. Next, it was the pictures, a common reason for many people to stay on there. I so wanted for her to experience the change that I had, we made a little run to Best Buy. It is amazing the power of a 1 Terabyte hard-drive. Seeing as photography is one of her hobbies, this process took a little longer than anticipated. She worked for almost an hour a night for a week to transfer those photos over, but she got it done. Finally, it was time to start the leaving process. Much like Jesse did, she sent out a message to her friends saying she was leaving and going to g+. So did she get replies back or phone numbers?
ONE!!! One person took time out of their busy life to send her a reply with their contact info. Now, for the real kicker in all this, the person lives in JAPAN where her husband is stationed in the Marines. Seriously? Not one person in the continental 48 states bothered to take the time to reply back to someone who basically said, “I’m going away, if you want to stay in contact please give me your info.” This apathy that was displayed to the woman I love leads me to the reason for this installment’s title.
Go into any Apple Store and look at an employee, which Apple so cleverly calls a “genius.” You will most likely find a person younger than you, looking like they just rolled out of bed, with the ever so professional t-shirt and something similar to pants way too tight around the calves and ankles. While I do not have the capacity of these folks to spout out anything related to an ipad, iphone, or macbook, I seriously doubt the “genius” qualifications apply here. Same goes for Facebook. Want to find out what a true friend is? A true friend is one that you can call at any time. They will listen to you when you’re having family problems.
A true friend will push you to better yourself. A Facebook “friend” will gladly like a status, regardless if it is good or bad. They’ll console you, because it is faster and easier to type out a comment than to call and have a conversation about it. We have both agreed that we’re going to make the investments in people that are willing to do the same for us. I will take the handful of true friends I have over the hundreds of “friends” that I had.