Unsocial Networking

Social networking is still an odd thing to me.  

An introvert by nature, it’s antithetical to my understanding of relationships to create as many relationships as possible.  Relationships take work, nurturing, cultivation.  I can only do so many of those at a time reasonably well.  Amassing hundreds or thousands of MySpace or Facebook friends seems like an overwhelming prospect that would result in my feeling as though I was not being  a good enough friend to those people.
Then again, I may just be attempting to justify why I only have two friends on Facebook.  
I’ve recently expanded my social network a bit on Facebook, having accepted friend requests from several folks from high school.  I was already friends with the five or so people from high school that I have kept in touch with consistenty over the last 20+years.  But these were newer additions.  People that I knew in high school, but that I wasn’t generally in the same social circles with.   I was in relatively few social circles at all in high school, so this is really an understatement.  
Because of my vocation, I tend to think that I need to allow friend requests from pert near anyone, as the opportunity for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ might present itself.  Which doesn’t appear to have been a concern for this person.  I also recognize that, for some of these folks, there isn’t going to be much in the way of communication or banter or much of any other kind of communique.  They befriended me out of curiosity, and now that curiosity has been satisfied, we return to the situation that we were in for the last 20+ years – noncommunication.  So in hopes of a discussion arising when they peruse my FB info, or happen to stumble over my blog, I allow ‘friend’ connections that I wouldn’t otherwise feel were necessary or even desired.  
High school wasn’t a fun time for me.  I wasn’t well equipped for it, socially, and it showed.  A lot.  I have sorted through a lot of that stuff, and reached a place where I have forgiven those who hurt me in some way during those years.  And I pray that those that I hurt have reached a place of equal peace and forgiveness towards me.  But does forgiveness require that we socially network over the Internet with people, solely for the purpose of demonstrating that we have, indeed, forgiven them (even if they aren’t particularly aware that they caused some injury of which forgiveness would be necessary)?  One friend that I’ve discussed this with doesn’t see the need to allow friendships just because they happen to remember each other’s name from high school.  Her take on it is, if they weren’t friends in high school, why would they want to socially network now?  
It’s a stance I inherently resonate with, yet I’ve chosen to act differently.  Foolish optimism on my part?  I don’t know.  I suppose that when FB goes the way of dinosaurs and AOL, it won’t really matter.  
We’ll just be struggling with the same issues with a new application.  In 3-D.  Fortunately, 3-D would appear to be ideally suited (definitionally?)  for someone with two Facebook friends.  I’m in luck!

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