Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Are you my friend?

What exactly is a friend?

The world of social networking has radically altered how we use that word. It used to be a lot easier to know if someone truly was a friend or simply an acquaintance, a classmate, a coworker, or a neighbor.

I’ve been grappling with this issue in Facebook as I’ve “purged” some people from my list of friends. Is everyone on my list truly a “friend” or have I sunk to the level of using that word to describe anyone with whom I have some kind of interaction — even if that interaction hasn’t happen since we worked together a decade ago, attend class together in junior high, or interacted a few times when I was a staff pastor?

So far, I don’t have any solid answers. I know that I’ve dropped some “friends” on Facebook who might be hurt that we aren’t “friends” anymore, but did we really still have an ongoing friend relationship? If we visited each other’s city, would we call or email or text in advance so we could get together? If we lived in the same town, would we go to dinner together or hang out with the same group of friends or invite each other into our homes? If one of us was facing a terminal illness, would we spend time with the other or take the family meals or do something else tangible?

In the year 2010, I’m afraid we’ve dumbed down the word “friend” just like we previously dumbed down the word “love.”

How do YOU know if someone is truly a friend? How do YOU differentiate between friends and acquaintances? Do YOU think we’ve dumed down the word “friend”?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Why purge?

I’ve had a few questions about my recent “announcements” to purge some of the books from my collection and some of the friends on Facebook. Why am I doing this?

The answer: I’m bored.

Just kidding.

I’m getting rid of some books because I have too many. I’ve bought and acquired books that I read once and will never read again — but they sit on my shelves collecting dust. Why keep these? Like many people, I battle the temptation to accumulate “stuff” and it isn’t a healthy habit that I want to maintain. I want to purge the excess stuff as much as I possibly can. I will keep certain books — reference books, key resources, books I’ve not yet read, books that hold long-term meaning or value — but I need to release the temporal more.

And as far as friends on Facebook, I have too many people to keep up with anymore. Some people on Facebook never update their statuses, and some people were great to connect with at first, but we don’t have any ongoing interaction through wall posts or status update comments. You got married, have three kids, and successfully lead company XYZ? Awesome! Let’s catch up again in another five years! It’s nothing person; just a need to “clean house” digitally, too.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Eve thoughts

Some “live” random thoughts I wrote while at a band’s show on New Year’s Eve, taken straight from my PDA:

OK, I’ll confess: I really don’t get screamo music. Heck, I don’t even know if that’s still the word used to describe the genre anymore.

I’m at a show right now, and I left and will return to a NYE party where I only knew a handful of people. One person, Heather, encouraged us all to say people’s names several times as a strategy to learn new names. We'll see how well that ends up working for everyone.

I have a tough time getting into music when I can’t understand the lyrics. Does this make me old? Or some kind of music snob?

Just sent a tweet: “I’m at a concert where I don’t stick out like a sore thumb… just an old thumb…”

For some reason, my gf didn’t see this as a romantic part of the evening. She stayed at the party.

There’s a crowd here of maybe 100. I dunno. I’m not that good at counting crowds. I always think there are fewer people than there really are. I’d make a lousy senior pastor or evangelist.

Did anyone ever tell Mozart or Beethoven: “I just don’t dig your music. It all sounds the same as all the other composers.” Not that Beethoven would have heard the criticism or anything.

Culture is so diverse. As followers of Christ, can we really connect with culture? Or just a certain slice of culture?

No one has ever accused me of having radical musical tastes, though enjoying and appreciating (and playing) classical music in high school certainly wasn’t the norm.

My ears hurt.

10 Random New Year’s Resolutions

1. Avoid giving magnets and bookmarks as Christmas gifts
2. Complain no more than once (per day) about the summer heat
3. Read more of the books I already own
4. Watch my Kansas Jayhawks have another stellar basketball season
5. Watch my hapless K.C. Royals have another hopeless season
6. Buy a new pair of sneakers
7. Pay off my “new” car that’s now 5 years old
8. Wear a tie at least once
9. Create a way to save a table at “my” Starbucks
10. Blog more than once a quarter