Since last couple of years we have become a lot busier and find it hard to make time for every friend we have. However internet platforms like facebook and twitter has come along and has enabled us to be in touch and connected with those who we would not have kept in touch with otherwise. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? It is debatable!
In the absence of facebook or similar application, if you had not made efforts to keep in touch with someone means that the person is not really important to you. If so, do you really need to be his/her “friend” just because you know the person? My answer is NO. We should only add people we think we care about, where there is a sense of mutual contribution and appreciation. We as individuals dont really know who to add and who not to. There is no definite guide for this. I am no guru at it, given that I have no clue of whether how many of my 350+ friends on facebook are alive or dead.
During this process of adding so many friends (not all initiated by me), I have learnt that we should not add People just because we knew them before or met them in some concert or because they are or were our colleagues. All of these reasons dont stand the test of time in keeping the relationship honest. Such dishonest relationships just adds to meaninglessness to life and given that you will always have 24 hours, no matter what, you can do very well without such friends.
I know its difficult not to fall for the trick of the mind. When you see that old friend, it only reminds of good old days, and you jump up and add the person. With some, you strike a lively conversation about the past, feel good about it, and after that conversation is over there is nothing more to add. That’s it, no other conversation can be stuck until another friend from the old group surfaces. For others, nothing happens past adding the person. So unfortunately the end result of all this is that a not so important friend is now added to your ever growing list.
Make no mistake, its no mistake of yours or your friend. Its not that you are a good person and don’t value relationship. It just means that your priorities have changed and in present circumstances that person is not your priority (unless he will be your future boss/wife/tennis partner) and there is only a finite time you have for your good friends, which also could only be finite. If they come and replace a not so important friend, then thats really good but generally that happens by exception rather than being the rule.
In an ideal world, we need to give due time and attention to every person we add to our life. We cant keep dividing our time to accommodate every new person we add. The best alternative is, a few likes here and there, few comments of “wow” or “fantastic” or “congrats” and yearly once, a meaningless “happy bday”, thanks to facebook reminder, won’t add any significant value to the friendship. So we are better off not adding such friends.
OK, its easier not to add friends, but what about those who add us as friends? How do we deal with them? Can we say “sorry, I dont have time for a friendship with you?” well, no. Most of us cant, and should’nt. However what you can do is to change the subscribe preference from the person. You can either turn it off or change it to important updates only. For more check this link. This way, you can at least make an honest effort to keep up with ever growing friends. You can never be able to cater to everyone’s needs and hence ideally you must do a bit of house keeping once in a while.