Right now I (Maree) am reading a book on friendship. I think the topic of friendship is so very important and it’s something that I continue to learn about as I go through life…and I would love to learn something from you! What is a piece advice you would give on the topic of friendship?

This is an excerpt from the book I’m reading (Befriend by Scott Sauls):

“Real friendship is hard. There are other, less real versions of friendship. The less real versions are ‘less’ because they are less costly, less committed, less disruptive, less scary, less gritty, less gutsy, and less out-of-control than REAL friendship. But here’s the rub: less real versions of friendship are also less rich. In the short run, they feel better and smoother than real friendship. But in the long run, they leave us lonely and alone. And it’s not good to be alone. Less real versions of friendship take several forms.”

One of the forms of friendship Scott classifies is “digital friendship”. He writes, “There are many positive aspects to digital friendship. But by itself, digital friendship fails as a substitute for true friendship. Unlike true friendship, relating to others through screens makes it easy for us to hide. It allows us to put forth only the best, most attractive, most “together,” edited, and screened version of ourselves. When digital friendship becomes the main way we relate to others, a subtle but significant shift happens. Instead of entering the messiness of having real friends, we settle for having (and being) followers and fans. The chief drawback is that we never really get to know people, and they never really get to know us. Our digital friends are experiencing part of us but not all of us. When online relationships take priority over real friendship, the result is usually more loneliness and isolation, not less”.