I love getting together with my girlfriends. They make me feel warm and loved and supported. I always, always feel better after we spend some time together. But even for me, finding time can be difficult. And there are nights when it is just easier to climb onto the couch, open up my laptop, and get some work done.
Chief of Insanely Brilliant Ideas (and today’s guest blogger) JUDI COGEN worries about the internet taking so much of our time. It certainly can be easy to lose ourselves in the internet’s web of information and distractions. What do you think about Judi’s ideas for reconnecting with our girlfriends? What are your ideas for making sure the internet doesn’t take over?
I got in the habit (on my blog) of referring to “my friend, the internet” when I didn’t have a specific website to reference. As in “according to my friend the internet…this” and “according to my friend the internet…that.” I thought it was amusing and no one objected, so it seemed fine.
A while ago, I wrote a blog about why the internet and I are such good friends (for example, the internet always stays up as late as I do and never comments on my food choices). “Cute” my readers said. “You’re funny” they wrote. “I feel the same way!”
The morning after I published that post, I woke up with a start. They feel the same way? I thought I was just joking around. I wondered: Have we become too dependent on the internet for friendship?
I don’t mean Twitter or Facebook or any other social media site. (Confession: I am a social media junkie–more than one person has suggested a social media intervention would not be out of the question. I smile politely and tweet about their suggestion.)
I believe social media can help us connect better with friends who are far away, who are in different time zones, or who are on the other side of town and it’s just difficult to make our schedules work together. I love taking a few (zillion) minutes in the day to see what my friends are thinking about. I love hearing about their new businesses or the football games their children are playing. It really does help me feel more connected in this rush, rush world.
But I’m worried about replacing true friendships with playing games and watching cat videos and reading yet another article about celebrity addictions. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m as guilty (or possibly more) of playing solitaire and reading interesting articles and watching cat videos. And while I cut myself off from all Facebook games (I had to–I was drowning in invitations and not getting any work done), I know it is completely unrealistic to think I’ll give up solitaire or most other web-based distractions.
But I’m worried that too often solitaire becomes a friend. Or an excuse not to reach out to a real person.
So here’s my pre-New Year’s resolution: For every game of solitaire I play, I am going to send a personal email to a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. For every silly video I watch, I am going to Facebook-message a friend just to see how she’s doing. For every research tangent I meander off on, I am going to text a friend to check in on an issue in her life. And every once in a while I am going to write a letter or pick up the phone and call (but not at 1 in the morning–I promise).
What do you say, girlfriends? Join me? Let’s get back to making friendship about real friendship.
JUDI COGEN is Chief of Insanely Brilliant Ideas here at Girlfriendology.com. She authors the blog DearKidLoveMom.com and that’s where you can find her tongue-in-cheek post 10 Reasons I Love the Internet | Friendship Comes in All Forms.
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