Social Media justifies my awkward social skills. I can make a "friend" with the same effort as not showing up somewhere. But these are all superficial for the most part. Just go ahead and ask one for help moving ... I'll wait.
Relations between people have levels. These levels are respected and are (mostly) understood by all. You don't show up at a co-worker's house and say "Hey! Can I come in and chat about the latest sporting event that just took place?" You don't pass your wife in the store and go 'sup' with a nod and walk on. There are levels of intimacy. How many? That's a game you play by yourself and the goal is to find as many as possible.
But social media has created a shotgun blast effect to make as many friends as possible, as fast as possible, as annoying as possible. There are times I'm helping someone in a game and I have no idea who they are. I accepted them as a "friend" but their profile pic is of their dog and I'm am totally not really invested to figure out who they are. So I just assume it's the dog itself I'm connected with - that's cooler.
(can a paw use a scroll wheel?)
Many people write about "these are worthless relationships" and "what's this doing to actual friendship making processes." I see them. You see them. I'm not linking them. We all agree. Sure, social media helps keep me updated in people's lives who I most likely would not see again, but that's not being a friend. That's being nosy ... and a tad stalky. But my point is the value of the relationship and the real awkwardness that can appear when you are thrusted into one.
Ok, I have an example. I moved to a new high school and on two different occasions I was approached by two females. Their mission was to find out who I was, where I came from and if I was dating anybody. The main girl (the point-girl) proceeded to tell me about a third girl and that if I would be willing to date her.
Let that sink in. This wasn't a blind date. It was a blind relationship. It didn't help matters that the point-girl was the cutest one of the entire operation. So I did what every socially awkward dork-male would do. Lie. Lie hard. Lie hard so bad. I was practically in a long distance betrothment by the time it was over.
There's more details but that's not the point of this post.
If we recognize the ridiculousness of mass producing friends, then why do Evangelical Christians try to "mass convert" people into a relationship with Christ? A great effort has been done to remove the false label of "religion" from Christianity to get it back down to its core - which is a relationship. However, we forgot about the effort factor. It's effortless to speak into a microphone to a group of 50,000 people about Christ in comparison to investing yourself into each one of the 50,000 people. If you had everyone of them over for dinner every day, you'd spend almost 14 years doing that before meeting again with the original person. And "Dude! I haven't seen you in 14 years! We need to do the meal thing again!" isn't what I call a vibrant friendship.
I don't think you can impersonally introduce a personal relationship to a person about a third-person. Well, I mean you *can* but it's called spamming. And yes, spamming is effective because their is a .001% of the global population that acts on spam and the overhead is so little to the spammer that they keep doing it. Do we spam our congregations? Do we spam tv/radio/internet/social audiences? Am I saying that it should stop?
Well, yeah. I mean, all the believers can meet and worship and learn more and encourage one another, but for those that don't believe in what you believe - you might have to actually talk to this person and form a deeper friendship with them. Sounds like a lot of effort. What if you spent the next 14 years being the friend of 1 person? What if that 1 person did believe after you invested your life, time, money, couch, truck bed, spare bed into their life? Would you tell that new believer "why did you have to make it so inefficient?"
Forget the masses and find the man.
Let me know how it went after 14 years.