One of my most cherished things in life is true friendships. I thrive on them and they thrive on me.
I recently recalled a conversation I had years ago with someone who boasted having 1,200 friends, which I later discovered were all “friends” on Facebook and she only knew .01 percent of them! Social media might have fed the maya (i.e., illusion) that likes and follows on social media constitute real friends. I don’t think they do, although there might be a few folks who end up on your vortex of being deemed real friends.
I am not denying that email, text messaging, and social media can be enjoyable and beneficial and that they can lead to wonderful connections (many folks from the America Meditating Radio Show, which I host, came from Twitter—can you believe that?). However, although social media may offer some aspect of relating, online friendships simply cannot replace real, live, in-person contact. There’s just something special and irreplaceable about being physically present with another human being. And, please don’t tell me that artificial intelligence is working to fix that!
Research has shown that close friends can give us confidence and boost our sense of self, especially during tough times. They can also increase our clarity to make decisions that matter and they can influence the way we behave in our interactions with one another.
Can you believe that some studies have shown that if you have a friend who has become obese, you are most likely to begin gaining excess weight, and if you have a friend who drinks too much, you are most likely to begin drinking in excess. So, the other side of the coin would prove that if you raise your game, then your friends would too. If you rise in your consciousness, so would your friends and vice versa. This includes taking care of your health and spending time in leisure that feels worthwhile.