Karen M. Jantzi, CPC
The Treasured Woman Network
Social media has changed the way we live. It's changed how we conduct our relationships too. It may even have replaced many face to face friendships. I hate to say "real friendships", but for our purposes here in this article, we are going to refer to face to face relationships as reality relationships.
Connecting online can be more powerful at times than a reality relationship because you must use your thoughts to build with, possibly revealing more of you than you might if face to face, yet it does not bring about the same emotional nourishing of a reality relationship Its much easier to maintain a friendship online than in person as in person, you deal with more real life issues. Although online friendships can reveal much of our heart, they are also superficial in many ways. Digital dating, for instance, does not let you truly know what that person is like. It gives you an impression, but it does not tell you how that person deals with the world or their life in truth. Online, you don't see or experience the kinds of things that might normally annoy you in person. A digital relationship is missing reality.
Digital friendships create a longing that it cannot fulfill. An emotional starvation can result that is unhealthy. Some symptoms of emotional starvation are depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, frustration and unfulfillment. Just as babies will die without human touch, so do relationships. In our human sense of expectation, we seek finality and closure. We move forward to obtain a feeling of completion.
I'm speaking to myself today. Six years ago, I moved away from my hometown and left my friends and family behind. I stay in touch online and on the phone, but its not the same as being able to hug and kiss them, or connect and see their face as we talk. God has given me one precious Godly sister in PA for which I am so grateful, but bless her heart, I don't want to be the friend overload in her life because she's my one connection to sisterhood. That's just not fair to her! We don't live very close and our days to connect are few. I find myself struggling at times to feel any sense of comfort or to receive the nourishment my personality needs from relationships with people I love. I have no one to blame but myself though.
I know it's up to me to change my situation.
So what is the answer? Its to develop real, in the flesh, face to face relationships! If you are in an area where you know few people, that is going to take some effort to reach out and put yourself out there and become vulnerable. Ask yourself, how did you make those other relationships that you enjoyed in the past? You stepped out! You moved forward and made an effort. So, even though you may feel down and lonely, you are going to have to find the strength and be encouraged enough to just go do it!
I'm my own coach today and with that being said, I'm making a list of the things I can do to bring others into my life........to connect with like minded people. those that God may want me to find and invest into their lives or that special friend that will bring me the fellowship my heart so longs for. It can be at church. (I'm still looking for a home church here) It can be at work or school. It might even be in places you frequent regularly like the grocery store or post office. I suggest starting your own group for friendship! I've had a tendancey in my life to start whatever it is I'm in need of. I guess this will be the same! Look forward to your efforts! Write them down. Put them on your prayer wall. Ask God to expand your territory of influence and friendships. Seek out ways you might be of help and service to others. That always helps get your mind off YOU and onto others!
Take a moment and look at your digital life......... Is it the first thing you go to when you are conscious in the morning or the last thing at night? What is its purpose in your life? Don't get me wrong. I think many positive things can come from social media, but it must always be in balance with the rest of your life. Pray and seek God. Ask Him how much time you need to spend on it. And if you are in need of the blessing of friendship, look outward. May God bless you as you continue on in your journey with Him!
Treasuring You in Him,
Karen Jantzi, CPC/CMEC is the Founding President of Treasured Woman and the CEO of HAVEN Coaching and Consulting. She has a passion for helping women find a permanent sense of self-worth and value through living in the authority and love of Jesus Christ in their lives. She has been a business owner and executive for over 20 years and enjoys helping women bring life to their dreams of owning a business. As an author, blogger and speaker, Karen shares her life changing story with women across the nation with the hope that they too will turn to Christ and live a life they treasure. Karen lives with her husband, is the mother of 5 and enjoys life on the Yough River not too far outside of Pittsburgh. You may contact her at 407-687-5988 or firstname.lastname@example.org