Last Saturday morning I was reading my email when I noticed "N wants to be your friend on facebook." N is one of my very closest friends. We met in high school, lost touch somewhere in the 1970s when I lived in Nashville and through great good fortune got back in touch in the early 80s. We celebrate most holidays together, can spend hours chatting, shopping, cooking together and visiting museums. Her husband is one of the nicest people I know and I adore her two sons. I'd also been meaning to call her for several days and it was on the top of my list of things I wanted to do on Saturday. I clicked yes immediately and then left the computer to do just that, call N.
There are days I worry that being friends on facebook takes the place of being friends. Am I clicking more than calling? Am I clicking more than visiting? Am I just clicking too much? Some of my facebook friends (and it's not a big group) are my closest friends and were long before facebook. There are friends from elementary school, high school, college, children and relatives of friends, work colleagues, former work colleagues, friends who are part of a very long standing on-line group and yes, one person I've never met. The latter emailed me because of an interest in reading and writing.
And the long standing on-line group is no longer just an "on-line" group. We still email, but we also call, visit, actually write to each other and even vacation together. The group sharing key lime pie on a stick is a subset of the larger group.
I celebrate the wide and widening circle of friends, and I welcome my present and future blog friends. As long as my clicking doesn't replace calling, visiting, praying and laughing with friends it's been a great addition to my life.