Too Many Friends?

When Peanut was born, we immediately contacted our local Down syndrome guild. When Peanut was a mere two weeks old, I attended my first Mom’s Night Out with other moms of children with Down syndrome. Very quickly I enveloped myself in the world of parents of children with special needs and found comfort in knowing I was not alone and being able to share similar struggles and joys.

When Peanut was three, I discovered blogging. Again, I found a new group of friends not only in my local area but across the United States and even a few across oceans who shared our struggles and joys. I enjoyed reading others’ blogs and having others visit mine and comment. I made some true friends of people I will most likely never meet in person and yet I feel a connection to that is no less special than the friends I have that I actually see and speak with in person.

When Peanut was four I discovered Facebook. I found some old friends and quickly started new friendships. Currently I have 356 friends on Facebook. Not a very impressive number in comparison to those who like to “collect” friends but still quite a few for someone who can count her dear and close friends over her lifetime on one hand.

In the beginning, I added anyone who had a child with special needs, especially those with Down syndrome. It was easy to determine these families. Either they had a picture of their child or their mutual friends were members of “the club.” Recently, I have been a little slower to accept just anyone who is in “the club.” It’s not that I don’t feel a connection to anyone who has a child with Down syndrome, it’s just that I felt I was losing contact with those closest to me to someone I had no real connection with.

Our local guild services over 1,000 families and we often comment that sometimes the only thing you have in common with someone who has a child with Down syndrome is just that. There are some people I have met that although are nice enough, they would really never be in my circle of friends if not for that connection. It’s nothing against them, it’s just that we don’t “click”.

Recently I went through my friend requests and accepted many new “friends”. After this, I noticed one of these new “friend’s” updates continuously showing up in my string. The problem was I couldn’t read them. They were written in German. That’s when it dawned on me. Perhaps we are taking this “friend” thing a little too far. I mean, if I can’t talk to you without having to Google everything you write, what good is the connection?

I have started hiding many updates from people I don’t really know. People that I don’t comment on their status updates and those that don’t comment on mine. By doing this, I’m getting to see those people that truly matter in my life.

What about you? Do you feel you have taken this “friendship” thing a little too far? Have you lost contact with those who matter because there is too much static interfering with your conversations?

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