Is a Facebook friend really a ‘friend?’ Social media has changed the face of friendship by offering us hundreds to thousands to hundreds of thousands of connections with ‘friends’ 24/7/365 and anywhere we can take our phone or laptop. We can find a long lost friend, make new ones, see who is friends with whom and even ignore/block friends. We can find out about their lives, have conversations, ‘like’ them or hide their voice. Yes, social media has added a whole new language and way to speak it between ‘friends.’
We’re celebrating a Month of Friendship here on Girlfriendology (and with our sister-friend blogs in the Friendship Circle). As part of our challenge on this journey to be a better friend (ourselves and to inspire you), we’re looking at ways to connect with new and old friends, express our girlfriend gratitude and celebrate the amazing women who go through the highs and lows of life with us.
Today, Day 3 of this Month of Friendship, we want to explore how to stay in touch and utilize social media to strengthen friendship. Here’s our ‘girlfriend advice’ on using Facebook, Twitter and social media tools to be a better friend:
- Find an old friend – Vanessa (one of our Facebook Friends) shared this: “I connected with a girlfriend of mine I hadn’t spoken to for 22 years! She found me through Facebook, and it was the most wonderful experience talking on the phone after such a long time. We had so much to share, and yet we just picked up …where we left off, like no time had passed. Although I am good at nurturing my friendships, it made me realize just how important friends who share a history with you are.” Remember a schoolmate or childhood friend, look them up – you never know where a new friendship with an old friend may lead!
- Find new friends - @lissaboles, @ClaireCookBooks, @nkdgirlinadress* (aka: Lissa, Claire and Kelly) and I may never meet in person, but I love knowing them and I consider them as friends. We’re Twitter friends and we connected on similar goals, likes and/or humor. I’ve learned from them, discovered things about myself through the tweets and blogs they share. I appreciate what they’ve brought to my life, and that sounds like a ‘friend’ to me!
- Be a thoughtful friend – In Twitter-etiquette, it’s a nice thing to re-tweet (RT) their tweets (if it’s helpful information or something your followers would appreciate as well). For Facebook friends we can ‘like’ their comments, add our thoughts and share a note just to let them know we stopped by their page. You can also take it a step further and send ‘sweet tweets’ or leave friendly notes on Facebook – kind messages, inspiring quotes, fun photos of you two together (if they’re flattering of both of you!) and just take a quick minute to tell her you’re thinking of her. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make her day. (-:
- Pay attention to details – I love how several social media sites will remind me of birthdays. Then, I can take it from there and make her feel special on her special day. Not enough time to stay in touch? Check out her Facebook page or tweets to see what she’s been up to then call to get all the ‘just for friends’ info. Good, bad and sometimes personal information is being shared on Facebook and Twitter (not saying that’s good, just that it happens). So try to keep up on a few friends’ updates to always know if you need to check on them or talk.
- Connect her to other friends – So many girlfriends are job hunting lately. Find out what type job she desires then ask your IRL (in real life) and social media friends if they know of anything. Connect her to people you know that might be a good contact. Or perhaps she’s selling/buying a home, needs assistance with something, whatever. Engage your social media friends in spreading the word. We each have a powerful network of connections, especially if we’re active in social media. Use your ‘power’ (network) for good in being a better friend.
- Don’t forget to go off-line as well - Yes, social media connections can be amazing, but there is nothing else like sharing a conversation, beverage and/or meal face-to-face. You can’t see her eyes and smile when you’re tweeting or DMing each other. Hugs don’t really come through online comments and updates. And tears aren’t wiped when you’re on your computer. Make time for your girlfriend and spend time together. You’ll be glad you did!
Other tips for staying in touch with friends using social media? PLEASE share!
* Listen for Kelly, aka: @nkdgirlinadress, on our BlogTalkRadio show 2-2:30pm ET today!