Have you seen The Social Network?
I give the movie three thumbs up, two because I liked it and one because it inspired this post.
Mark Zuckerberg would not be the first person to achieve great success in his work despite being otherwise unpopular, so it got me to thinking about the value of friendships. Value as in, who needs them??
Well, I do.
Zuckerberg aside, I have to believe – I want to believe – that the ability to create a social network – to make new friendships and nurture old ones - will not only help you to grow personally, it will help you professionally as well.
Here are two recent examples:
I have just returned from a speaking gig at BlogWorld in Vegas where I had the opportunity to meet, in person, many people I had only previously ‘met’ online and many others who I had never met in any fashion.
Two days after the conference, one of the women I’d met honored me with a guest post on Copyblogger, one of the most popular blogs in the world and the result was a deluge of new visitors (subscribers!) here at the farm.
I would be exaggerating to call Sonia Simone my friend, but she’s a brainy broad with a dash of funk and a pinch of punk, so I’m willing to bet it’s just a matter of time.
After Vegas, I met the Sheriff in San Francisco.
We visited with a friend of his from college who he hadn’t seen in more than 20 years, stayed with one of my friends (who I also hadn’t seen in years) and then worked our way down to LA, visiting with at least 5 others – old and new — along the way. I enjoyed the sights but it was the connecting and reconnecting that I will remember most.
The Sheriff and I are very different this way. I feel enriched by a variety of friends. He is content with a solid few.
Which brings me back to my original question: Do you need new friends?
How many do you have? I don’t mean FB friends. I mean your real social network.
When is the last time you learned something new from a friend?
I’m not suggesting quantity over quality. When the world runs out of interesting compassionate people from whom I could learn a thing or two, I’ll be long gone.
But it occurs to me that I don’t even have the time I’d like to devote to my old friends, so why the need to make new ones??
Actually, I don’t really need to make new friends but I like to.
Maybe I’m a friend-aholic. Maybe I need to go to a meeting.
Oh good. New friends.
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(2nd photo credit: Thank you Annabel Candy!)