“Welcome Gerry, You Have No Friends”

That’s exactly what Facebook told me when I first signed up in November 2009.

Before that, I had resisted for a long time. My kids were on it. They used it constantly and I just couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. It looked like a total waste of time. It was touted as a way to keep in touch with your high school friends. Reunite with past acquaintances.

I didn’t want to. I wanted to connect to other people, but didn’t want to focus on friends I knew when I was growing up. Instead, I wanted to learn how to connect and be social using this interactive website created by a socially awkward kid from Harvard.

I told my teenage daughter that “I have no friends.” She laughed. She had hundreds upon hundreds of friends. “Will you be my friend?” I asked her. “No way, dad.”

Clearly, if she ‘friended’ me, then I could see what she and her friends talked about. That wasn’t likely to happen any time soon. So, I proceeded to get my own friends.

Fast forward now one and a half years. I have 1241 friends on Facebook. Really. It’s astonishing. I’m good friends with all of them. Really. They’re over at my house on a regular basis. It’s true. I talk to all of them each day. I have gotten to know them very well. Sort of.

The reality is that I do have friends. Lawyers and marketing gurus are often found bragging about how many friends they have on Facebook. It’s nonsense. The sheer number of friends is meaningless. It’s the true friends that are important.

The relationships you develop with your true friends last a long time. So how then can you develop relationships without ever meeting that person? The answer is obviously using text, instant message and comments on a blog post. The better answer is using video. Providing educational material to someone who is in need of information shows you care; it shows you have useful content and it shows that the conversation is not about you. Rather, it’s how you can help someone else. That’s what friendship is all about.

Want to be my friend? Press the “Like” button at the top or bottom of this blog post.

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One Response to “Welcome Gerry, You Have No Friends”

  • Eva Bruch says:

    Hi Gerry,

    this is a lovely, short and strong post wich made me laught, but you are totally right. Its not about the number, its about the quality.

    Regards!

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