It’s not a small world after all. It’s taken me some time to figure it out, and while I’m thankful for the time that I live in, I’m also very sad to see how relationships have suffered due to advancement and “networking”.
When I was kid, I before social media started to really take off, I had a few best friends. We did everything together, and we each had other friends, too, but that was my squad—my posse—my crew. You get it. I remember this one birthday party that I had, and we had a sleepover, played games, went on a hike, and all sorts of good fun. All my close friends were there. A few fell asleep a little after midnight, but my friend Phil and I stayed up talking for a couple hours more.
When I was in high school, I moved to Mississippi. I started a whole new school, a new youth group, and a new friends circle. While I knew everybody there was to know and got involved in a lot, there were still a few friends that I really considered my squad—my posse—my—right, right. You get it. My friend, Wes, would come over, and we would talk about God and life. My friend, Ryan and I, were very different when it came to beliefs and outlooks on thing, and we would have deep discussions.
What’s my point? My point is that wherever I went, I had friends with a deep pool. When I needed to dive into something, and I felt like I needed someone who was invested in me, I didn’t have to go searching. I didn’t have to look far. I can’t say that now, and the fact is that many people struggle with it.
Why so shallow? Right now, the average person had nearly four hundred Facebook friends. Over a billion people use Instagram monthly, and 500 million daily. And there are over a hundreds popular social media platforms with people averaging seven that they continuously use.
Why so shallow? The reality is, Americans don’t just work more than they have in the past, they work more than most of the industrialized world. It’s not exactly breaking news that we spend more hours at the office — or on the assembly line or behind the coffee counter — than our European peers. A 2004 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found Americans work “50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians.” More recent data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that in 2014, Americans outworked several expected other countries, among them Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and Austria, all countries that (coincidentally, I’m so sure) rank higher than us on the most recent World Happiness survey.
The most surprising discovery of the poll, though, is that we have surpassed Japan, long stereotyped by Americans as a society far more workaholic than our own, in annual hours worked by a tally of 1,789 to 1,729. That means we’re now collectively putting in more work hours each year than the country where necessity led to the invention of the term karōshi (“death from overwork”). – www.salon.com
Why so shallow? It takes effort. It’s less time for ourselves. It requires us to be deep ourselves, and we can’t be deep to the 1000 friends we have to keep up with, and the millions of likes that we need, and the hundreds of hours that we need to work.
But we each need friends with a deep pool…not a deep pool of friends. This is a key factor in loneliness and depression, suicide and self-harm, and the decline of “friendship”.
I speak on this because I’ve talked to too many who feel like they just don’t have the deep pool. And I’ve spent too many times wondering who I could call to really vent to knowing that they would be there for me. And maybe you do have a deep pool. If so, invest in it. You aren’t called to be friends with everybody. You aren’t meant to be in relationships with the world. And you aren’t supposed to confused networking for building relationships.
There is a verse in the Bible that says If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. How many do you have that will be that one who helps you up, and how many do you have that will just post on social media about it?
And when you can answer that question, answer this….how deep is your pool? Are you that friend to others in your life?