Find Faithful Friends–Unfriend the Rest


Sweet friends, I am so blessed to wake up every morning and find scripture after scripture, motivational quotes, Christian music, prayer, and positivity on my Facebook feed from those I have friended and follow who get up earlier than me.


Many mornings, after my daily Bible reading, I catch up with everyone as I drink my coffee and wake up. I wake up with a Facebook timeline that inspires me to live my day as a light for Christ.


As a scrolled through post after post this morning, I found that I was smiling, excited to go to work, and anticipating God using me to bless someone else. Silly little things on social media spoke to me.


Rushing through the rest of my morning routines found me reflecting on several conversations I’ve had in the past few weeks with various individuals. Some who are simply acquaintances and some who are very close to me, but all have been sharing the same message with me.
“I’m just not spending much time on Facebook anymore. It does nothing for me other than make me angry.”


Friends, I get it. I do.


I’m not even going to attempt to try to encourage people to spend more time on social media. I have no problem admitting that I spend too much time there and need to be intentional about limiting my time.


However, I wonder why we allow a social media site to influence our emotions in such a negative way.


Who do you accept as a friend on facebook?


Do you accept every friend request you receive or do you have a list of requirements someone must meet to get acceptance? Let’s face it, we post personal information on facebook. Hopefully it isn’t enough that people could steal our identity or such, but really, if you wouldn’t share the information with someone face-to-face should you allow them access to your friendship online?


I know when I first joined social media platforms I friended and liked everyone I had ever met.


Once.


I didn’t even have to like you or agree with any of your lifestyle choices. If I had been in the same room with you at some time since first grade, then you could be my online friend.


I got to see some pretty interesting stuff people posted. Most of it was none of my business, things I found offensive or immoral, and an overwhelming waste of my time.


But I kept on keeping on. I had like 1000+ friends and they all were reading the things I wrote!



What are your requirements to keep someone on your friend list?


Yeah. I’m certain that those posting vulgar, immoral, and some flat out abusive things from their lives were devouring my lengthy posts focused on Scripture, Jesus, salvation, and getting to church.


They read every. single. word.


Of my posts from a dark time that I couldn’t seem to keep from typing. Those posts that had my real friends and family worried and checking on me. That had me in denial and confused about why everyone was so worried and checking on me.


And then I was in Wal-Mart in my hometown. Where I ran into someone  I vaguely remembered.


Well, not their name.


Kinda their face.


Maybe.


And they struck up this conversation with me. About personal things about me and my family. Recent things. And I couldn’t figure out who would have told them any of these things or why they would feel it was ok to share this gossip ABOUT ME with me.


And then they said, “I really like being able to keep up with you on Facebook.”


In that moment I realized one of my worst fears was coming true. I was being stalked.


By followers.


People I didn’t even know knew more about my personal life than people I saw face-to-face every day.


Why was I allowing EVERYONE to be my “friend”?



Are you afraid to unfriend someone? Why?


We’re nice people. Well, most of us are anyway.


We’ve been taught to accept others. To be friendly to everyone we come in contact with.


Friendly. Not friends.


The individual I smile at in a public place may not be an individual I invite into my home with my children. That isn’t rude–it’s responsible and safe.


The individual actively pursuing an addiction I’ve purposefully given up through lots of hard work, yeah, I’m not inviting that person into my closest circle of friends. I will still be friendly when we’re at the same place at the same time, but I’m not going to put myself in the position to fail.


After a second run-in with an acquaintance at best that knew too much in too much detail about my personal life, I took my friend list to God.


1000+ became less than 200 in less than an hour.


Yes, I still friend new people–on a 30-day trial basis.


I also still unfriend old people.


I understand that we all go through hard times. I’ve been there enough myself to know. I can walk that road with you.


I have real friends and family that post obscenities. Unless it’s excessive, I don’t unfriend them. I love them. I share God’s word with them. I hope I influence them in a positive way like so many others do for me.


But I’m not afraid to unfriend someone. I don’t hide them; I unfriend them.

Friends, and I believe you are, please don’t buy into the lie that you have to let everyone into your inner circle. If you wouldn’t introduce your children, nieces & nephews, grandchildren, or furbabies to them and then leave them with them to have a conversation, then unfriend them and find joy in the real connections you make on social media platforms.

photo credit: cherylmsf via photopin cc

photo credit: kaysha via photopin cc
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24 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! This may be one the best pieces I've seen about fb and social media. Your story was engaging and very practical in its application. You also remind us that fb can be a good thing and a platform for sharing faith with family and friends. Thanks for taking the time to put your feelings and experiences into a articulate post on the topic!

    Reply

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in today! My post took a bit of a different turn than I intended, but sometimes that happens. 🙂 Thank you for adding your thoughts to the conversation and for the compliments.

    Reply

  3. I look at Facebook as a platform for my personal brand. I do not share intimate personal details of my life. I only share that which I would have no problem talking about in front of a room of 5000 people. Regardless of how many people are on a friends list, social media is public. If you don't want the world to know about something, do not talk about it on social media. Period.

    Reply

  4. Kandas, from a business standpoint that is the absolute best stance to take. I have one page for my “business” and a personal page. My personal page has security as tight as facebook will allow it, and my author page is open to the general public. However, you are absolutely correct that no matter how much we try to protect our online presence, it is all accessible. Thank you for joining our conversation! Please drop in again!!!!!

    Reply

  5. Ouch! The Holy Spirit really used this to convict me, Carrie. I'll be giving this some serious thought and prayer.

    Reply

  6. Since Day One on all social media sites I have only posted what I want the world to know. I rarely read any of the 'personal' stuff people post for several reasons – one is, I just don't get why you are sharing what you had for dinner with the world or……whatever.

    I don't have that many friends on FB but several thousand on other social media sites and every once in a while someone connects with me through a comment who I never would have connected with in the 'real' world. I am thinking of two in particular who really needed to share their story with me and get some support. I see what you are saying but for me, the more the merrier.

    Reply

  7. Hi Carrie,

    Great post and really enjoyed the tips for finding faithful friends on social media, not always an easy thing to do 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😉

    Reply

  8. Hi,
    This was interesting and what I'm currently struggling. I was told it's good to have “eyes” on your blog for potential advertisers. To me this means saying “yes” to more than I normally would. I might click on their name and check them out–bloggers, for example. In general, I follow the rule you shared–if I think it will be okay, I say yes, and then if there's a problem, I drop them. Janice

    Reply

  9. Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for hopping over to check out my post. Your response is an answer for me. I didn't think this post was Biblical enough for me to share in the Christian groups I participate in. As I set out to write this post, it took on a life of its own and went in a slightly different direction than I intended. Perhaps God has a plan that I'm not even aware of. I'll be praying with you.

    Reply

  10. Carrie- great post. As it happens, I was planning a post next week discussing why I accept certain friend requests and not others. I also do not share much personal happening in my life on Facebook but Facebook, in certain ways, can be a blessing. Just as one example, a good friend with cancer chooses to post occasional updates as to her status. It's a good way for her to keep in touch without expending too much energy and the “likes” she gets and the short comments boost her spirit. One other thing- I wish I could participate in blog challenges under my blog's Facebook account rather than my personal account. When I get friend requests from people I do not know, it's a dilemma. Alana

    Reply

  11. Wow, this is kind of a chilling post. I think we are all guilty, at times, of becoming facebook friends with people that we do not know that well. I think I might just go delete a few people from my friends list, and focus on investing in those friends that I see every day rather than just communicate through social media. Thanks for this great post!

    Reply

  12. Hi, Carol! I hope you're having an awesome weekend! I typically only share “personal” on facebook. I don't do that much on any other social media platform. The rest are solely for my blog or professional development for my career. I also have a FB page set up as an Author and Speaker that I share publicly, but my personal page is just for friends. I do have several individuals that I consider real friends that I have met through social media or blogs and developed a relationship with. If they request to be my FB friend, I do accept.

    So glad to get your perspective on this topic! Drop in again!!!!

    Reply

  13. Joan,

    Thanks for dropping in. You are correct. It can be difficult. I find that I surround myself with people I want to be like IRL and online. In doing that I set myself up for success and remove myself from attitudes and behaviors I don't want others to see in me. The struggle is worth the reward!

    Reply

  14. Hi, Janice! I have a question for you, sister, so I hope you are following these comments! Potential advertisers–they need to be able to see your personal facebook page or your blog? My blog and my Author/Speaker FB page is open to the public, but my personal FB page is locked down as tight as FB will let me lock it due to professional and personal reasons.

    I share personal stuff on my personal page and only things I'm ok with everyone in the world seeing/knowing on my blog and open access pages. Let's face it. The world in general doesn't want to see pictures of all my kids activities, but my parents don't live local nor get to attend ANY of that. They do appreciate getting to live these events instantly through my FB feed. My “followers” don't need play-by-play of my kids lives. I hope advertisers don't either.

    I do accept people I “know” on a temporary basis. I haven't had any more creepy experiences since employing the process.

    Reply

  15. Alana,

    I can't wait to read your post next week! I'm typically crazy busy during the week and don't always see everyone's posts. If you get a chance, will you come back here and leave a link? Or tag me in your post on the challenge page? I want to make sure I get to read it and don't miss out.

    I have a family member in the same position with posting through her cancer walk. She gets literally hundreds of likes and comments on her progress posts. I also see similar things with prayer requests for various things that AREN'T gossip.

    I too wish I could use my author/speaker page to connect to the challenges. I wonder why that isn't possible. That's a great thing to look into! Have a blessed weekend!

    Reply

  16. Bethany,

    I really didn't mean to scare anyone. One the other hand, however, I was really startled when I had two back-to-back run-ins that were flat out creepy. I realized I was letting people I didn't know into my life when I wouldn't let them walk in my front door if they showed up on my porch. That's an issue.

    I'm typically a pretty accepting person. I've been on three mission trips in my life. All three were to areas most would refer to as the projects. I just saw people who needed a hand that I was there to lend. People that you quickly fall in love with. The difference is you meet these people. You talk to them. You hold their hands. You pray with them. And you share the love of God, but you rarely have need to give out any personal details.

    Thank you for dropping in to chat! Please come back to visit again!

    Reply

  17. Hi Carrie Ann,
    I know exactly what you are talking about regarding the Facebook issue. I have preached privacy to my kids regarding social media since MySpace was a thing. When I decided to start blogging I chose not to put my identity out there for the public to see. I have a true me FB page that has no connection to my blogging identify and I have a FB personal and blogger page that are connected.
    I need to tell you though that I loved your post and the way you write. You are the only blog that is Christian in nature that I comfortable commenting on. With the others I always feel false due to my agnostic feelings. Your faith comes through but doesn't overwhelm the reader. Thank you so much. I enjoy it so much.

    Reply

  18. I loved your post, Carrie.
    What you just wrote is something my sister would say. She has said many times to choose well and to focus on those I feel for whatever reason I can impact with my life.
    Thanks so much for sharing wise words.
    Amy

    Reply

  19. This came at just the right time. I'm okay on Facebook but my Twitter account was hacked and stolen (my followers) and the old acct was then deactivated by the hacker. Now I am starting a new account with a new name and am being much more selective about who I follow and whether they follow back. I'm going for quality not quantity this time.

    Reply

  20. I think that it is easy to over share on Social Media. I forget, at times, who could actually be reading my posts. You are right, maintaining close relationships with friends and family is better than sharing with near strangers over social media. #WeekendBloghop

    Reply

  21. Snarky Momma,

    I preach privacy to my students at school too. I am continually amazed at the things they make public on their profiles and scoff at when I warn them what others could do with that information.

    You have no idea how much your compliment means to me. I am truly humbled that you would read my posts comfortably. You are ALWAYS welcome here. I hope that you find friendship and openness not only from myself, but from several others that visit here on a regular basis.

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply

  22. Amy,

    I somehow missed your posts on FB about your sister until last night. I am so sorry for your family's loss and will be lifting you up in prayer during this season.

    This post didn't go the direction I actually had planned, but it seems to have resonated with several different people for different reasons. His plan is greater than mine.

    Have a blessed Sunday.

    Reply

  23. Susan,

    Ugh! I lost everything on my FB account several years ago. I actually stayed off it for a time hoping they'd restore my profile so I could get my posts, notes, and pictures back. FB denied every request. I still have no idea why I was banned. I had to create an entirely new account from a new e-mail address. I have been much more selective this go around.

    Quality is also better than quantity. You are very wise.

    Reply

  24. Thanks for stopping in to join the conversation, Bek! My personal account has the highest security settings allowed by FB due to professional reasons, but I don't share personal stuff very often on any other platform, so I'm a little more lax every where else.

    I try to protect my family and myself as much as possible, however.

    Reply

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