Friends, Fans, and Intimacy

Let me tell you a bit about my wife.

She is 5’3”. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is gorgeous. She loves to cook. She is a fantastic mom. She is one of the most compassionate people I know. She loves the color pink, drinking coffee, and reading.

Now at this point I know exactly what you are thinking:

I am so in love with her too.

Wait…

It doesn’t work like that does it?

Since we are always looking for way to improve our blog, the three of us recently read Platform by Michael Hyatt. In the book, he was talking about Fan Pages on Facebook and says this:

“I am a fan of Chris Brogan [on Facebook]. We have even met once. I know lots of stuff about him, because of his blog and Twitter posts. This creates the illusion of intimacy. If I was not careful, however, I could fool myself into thinking I have a relationship with Chris. I don’t. I’m just one of his many fans.”

We are inundated with information about hundreds of people in our lives. Some we know. Some we don’t. But we sure do know a lot about them.

But this information can take a toll on how we view community.

We have celebrities that we feel intimately connected with. We aren’t.

We also have friends that we assume we are close with because we like a status. Have we fooled ourselves into thinking we are building a relationship because we scroll down a Timeline?

We have all this great information available to us so we assume we know people. But information only takes us so far.

Just like the information about my wife does not make you fall in love with her.

Love gets to know a person’s soul. It watches. It connects. The information that we have about a person we love is so much more than information. It is intimate.

You now know of my wife’s love of cooking, but have seen her eyes light up in the kitchen? Have you watched a taxing day of needy children drift away with the smoke of a skillet? Have you seen the anticipation on her face as the first bite is taken? That is the intimacy and the soul behind the information. It is experiencing the person rather than knowing about them.

It works like that with God too. But that is another post…

But we replace these experiences because it is easier to like a status than it is to sit and look at someone in the eye. Love demands more than information. Love uses information to draw us into intimacy.

In an effort to do this, try one of these options this week:

1. Exchange one hour a week of Facebook scrolling for face-to-face interaction. Instead of focusing on pithy statements from several people, dive deep into one.

2. When you see a status or tweet than intrigues or worries you, pick up the phone. Call the person and simply say: Tell me about your status. Use technology to build intimacy rather than take away from it.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves into thinking that knowing things about a person is a relationship.

When have you fallen into this trap?

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One thought on “Friends, Fans, and Intimacy

  1. I love it! Printing these off and taping them to my work area.
    The idea that you grow close by sharing your scars, stories, and slip-ups is so easily forgotten for convenience. Thanks Trevor.

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