Nowadays, people use social media to communicate. Some say that it is overused. In many cases we have forgotten how to communicate face to face and even more importantly, we have forgotten how to be a friend. Here are three tips for how to be a good friend in the digital age.
Have Texting Accountability
Texting is a convenient, quick way to communicate. But it can not substitute for face to face communication. Another drawback is that contributes to a lack of accountability. An example of this lack of accountability is a recent exchange I had with a friend. We set up a date and time to walk. The morning of the walk date, I texted her and asked if she still wanted to walk and she never responded. This leads me to wonder if she had other plans, or if she did not see the text? Ignoring texts from a friend is not a good way to show you care.
Watch Facebook Check-ins
While Facebook is a great way to keep up with what friends and family are doing, it can also lead to hurt feelings. I encountered an example of inconsiderate Facebook check-ins recently. I had asked a friend if she wanted to do something on a Friday night and she said she was going to stay home and rest from a recent business trip. Later that night she checked in at a nearby restaurant with one of my other friends and posted a bunch of photos. Needless to say, my feelings were hurt.
As mentioned above, social media is not a substitute for real, live in-person interaction with your friend. If a friend texts you – whether in a group or privately – with a request to get together for coffee, that friend wants and needs to see you. My daughter once texted a group of friends and asked if anyone wanted to go out for coffee and no one responded. Obviously she needed some in person conversation. Ignoring someone’s request to get together in a group setting is not only rude, it is a form of bullying.
So, next time a friend asks you to get together, realize that they want to see you. Respond right away and let them know when you are available. Try to accommodate their request as soon as you are able. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing your friend. In order to have friends, you have to be a friend.