Friends come and go...

Its coming up on nearly two years since I transitioned out of Lexmark and into Oracle. It was, at the time, the biggest decision I had probably made in my life and one that has been proven to be right, over and over again. Just when it seemed like that was the worst move I could make, time has proven it to be more right than I would have ever believed when I was making the decision.

Soon after that transition, I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. For 5 of the next 6 months, I wasn’t engaged full time with a client and got to spend a lot of time sitting at home, watching training videos and when boredom really took over, joining social networking sites.

First up was Myspace, but that quickly grew tiresome. Bad layouts, horrible spam and annoying users really turned me off to that site quickly. It was about this same time that Facebook opened up to non-educational domains and my addiction quickly took off.

It turned out that several of my college friends were already there, as they were still (or back) in school, working on various masters programs. What a great way to start off in a new site than to find friends of yester-year to welcome you into the fold. As time went on, more friends joined, many from different parts of my life. Coworkers were the next group to flood the site, adding to my quickly growing list of friends.

Last, and most recently, has been an influx of people I’ve known through the different church organizations over the years. It felt strange to me that most of these people, who were the ones that I had gotten to know most recently in my life, were the last ones to find me, or be found by me, in cyberspace. Still, I was grateful for social networking to reconnect me to the people with whom I had fallen out of touch.

But this last group also started presenting me with a problem. I’m a person who LOVES information; the more, the varied and the detailed. If I don’t know about it, I want to know. It doesn’t usually matter how trivial or how esoteric, if my friends feel it is valuable for me to know, I am glad that they shared.

Mostly glad, anyway.

Before I go on, since I know at least a couple of you will probably read this as it is imported to my Facebook account, I want you to know a couple things:

  1. Yes, I am talking about you. When you read this, you may wonder what other person it is to whom I am referring, but know that this is probably an incorrect assumption on your part. Really, I am talking about you.
  2. Given that I am talking to you, you should not assume I hate you or even dislike you in the least. Totally untrue. If I didn’t like you, I would not have issued or agreed to a friendship request. It is one specific behavior in which you involve yourself, which I will detail in a moment, that drives me crazy. Its not that I think you to be a bad person, just one who has behaviors that get on my nerves. I’m sure I engage in some behaviors that, rightly so, annoy you to no end. I’m not asking you to change, just wanting to put out some comments that you might consider prior to engaging in this behavior in the future.
Its all got to do with this little line that is on everyone’s Facebook homepage called ‘Status Update’ and how you use it. Again, I live for detail about your personal life. Its not that I’m a gossip or I love to see you fail/succeed, but I do like knowing how things are going for you. Its not even that some of you update your status hourly, as those who do that usually have a good reason for doing so and generally provide me amusement when you do.

What drives me up a wall is one thing you do with your status… namely, putting things there that have no real information about you in it. It is especially teeth-grinding when it involves church or Jesus.

I feel a need to caveat again because that last sentence probably just hacked off most everyone reading this. No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t mention religion/spiritual things in your status. Far from that, given that it is an important thing in the life of most everyone who reads this blog. More than likely, I met you in some church or Jesus related activity.

First, I’m probably just a little bit jealous. Its been 6.5 years (yes, I’m counting) since God and I have had a good sit-down chat. If you know anything about me at all, you know that the last 6.5 years have been pretty frustrating given that length of silence. If He’s speaking to you with regularity and depth, congratulations, you’re doing a lot better than me.

Second, if He’s having that kind of impact on your life, let me know about it, but don’t just status update me on it with a one-line, back of a candy-bar sentence. Give me some meat, some discussion, some real understanding of the impact that relationship is having on your life. Saying 'God is Great!!!’ tells me nothing about how He’s great to you. All it says is that you haven’t taken the time to tell me why. I know he’s Great. SO????

Next, I know you’re looking forward to the next service with your friends and God. Really, you don’t have to keep telling me every couple of days. I know when Sunday and Wednesday occur. Any practicing Christian, as opposed to those backsliders like me, should be looking forward to worship. Instead, can you tell me why this particular upcoming service means so much to you?

I know, its hard to fit all that in a single sentence. It has taken me a dozen plus paragraphs thus far to say all that, but please try, and not just so I don’t have to turn down the granularity of the information slider. Doing that means I’ll probably miss the one time you tell me something really important about your life, and that is what I don’t want to have happen.

Do it because its not just me who reads your status. I’m sure you have non-Christian friends. I’m sure they want the best for you, just like I do, but I’m also pretty sure that they roll their eyes every time they see your status updated. Its not that we don’t care, but that we care enough to want you to send the very best.