Followers and Friends

Feb 20th 2010

I have 218 followers on Twitter and 575 friends on Facebook.  I’m not bragging, just saying.  It can’t be bragging because far too often I run across someone who has 10,000+ followers on Twitter and I’m no where near the number of Facebook friends that either of my daughters have.

But I have to say I kind of wish that twitter had picked a word other than “follower” and I wish that Facebook had chosen a word other than “friend.”  It somewhat cheapens both words — doesn’t it?  Of course I’m not sure what the twitter word would be for “people I don’t know but every once in awhile would like to know that they are watching American Idol.”  I’m not sure what what the facebook word would be for “people I knew over 15 years ago who ask to be my friend but never respond to my comments.”

Now I actually appreciate both twitter and facebook, appreciate and use them.  I think they are great “front porch” (See my earlier post “UNfriend“) opportunities.  So this isn’t really about either fb or twitter — it’s about the words friend and follower.

I wonder if we shouldn’t reserve those words for something a bit deeper — at least in the world of faith.  Read John 15 sometime — Jesus takes friendship to a whole-nother level!

What is a friend?  Who are your friends?  What is a follower?  Who do you follow?  If someone is following you — where are you leading them?