The concept of friends, of friendship, has taken on a whole new meaning for me in the last couple of years. I blame Facebook. Why Facebook? Probably because I have over three hundred “friends”, many of whom I have never or will ever meet.
I used to think that to have a friend, you had to actually know that person. You had to have met them and have regular, face to face contact with them. Apparently I was mistaken.
A friend, as defined by Dictionary.com, is one who is either attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard or a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter.
In the last couple of years I have “met” so many people via social media that I now consider to be friends. People from all over the globe who have either sought or given assistance. People who have mentored or supported me and I them. Most of these people I have not met. Some I will meet soon, like Robyn Flach, an incredibly talented web designer who has mentored, and advised me. Some I may never meet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.
Recently, I wanted to try an experiment. I had seen other businesses on Facebook trying to get more fans for their fan pages. They were holding contests, offering prizes if they could get to a certain number of fans. I thought that sounded like bribery. I simply posted on my personal page and on my fan page that I wanted to get to 300 fans by the end of June.
People, friends, if you will, picked up the call and suggested our site to their friends and fans. Even though it took me longer, my friends came through for me. And I didn’t feel like I had to bribe anyone to be a fan. Likewise, I enjoy helping others promote their business, cause or fan page.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. Friendship is not constrained by physical proximity. I don’t need to be in the same room, the same city, the same state with someone else. I need only reach out. Thank you to Facebook, to Twitter, to LinkedIn and all the other social media out there for teaching me a lesson.
What can you do today to be a friend?