62 Responses to The Economics of Friendship. And other social media DOHs!

  1. adrianklein says:

    Thank you my friend for featuring this song on your podcast and for your awesome performance. “Thank you dude!” :)

  2. nisha360 says:

    I agree with you Stan friendship is about showing up :)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Big hug to you, Nisha. I think this may be your first comment on my blog. Thank you.

      And yes, I agree, everything wonderful between friends happens… after you show up.

  3. Betsy Cross says:

    My life feels really really crazy right now. Just feelings. That happens sometimes. Before bed a friend called.I felt suddenly anchored.She didn’t ask how I was or offer anything profound. It may even appear to some that I’m weak in some way. I guess that’s true. But not bad. I just keep thinking of that joke where a guy is falling off a cliff and keeps passing branches that he could grab hold of to save his life but he doesn’t. He gets to Heaven and asks God why He didn’t answer his prayers and save him? God tells him He kept sticking out branches, but the man refused what was right in front of him.
    So my friends are anchors and branches! LOL!

  4. Stan Faryna says:

    Betsy: I know what you mean. Because, feelings, whether we believe it or not, do control us. When they align with what we want, it’s just like heaven. When they run contrary or put us out of synch with the world, it can be just like hell might be.

    Big hug to you.

    You are in my prayers, Betsy. If you want to share something with me by email, I am here for you: stan(dot)faryna(at)gmail(dot)com.

  5. Stan Faryna says:

    Al Smith emailed his comment to me. WordPress wasn’t cooperating with him, today.

    Hey Stan,

    Great post and thanks for the mention. I just typed the longest comment I have ever written on any post. When I tried to log in to comment and it was deleted. DAYUM ! Ok, so here are the highlights (I think).

    I try and validate people when they interact. Appreciation is a good thing.

    I have received so much support and encouragement just in the last month. (The CARE Movement launched Aug. 6th) but yet, I find myself EXPECTING more.

    I SHOULD have more comments or MORE facebook LIKES.Thinking of 1 or 2 people and asking; Why have they not commented or RT ? Ha ! Really is kind of funny. They quite possibly could be thinking the same thing. Focus on GIVING and do the best you can. We can’t get to every blog, every day, right?

    This was in my last post: ACCEPT, do not EXPECT. “Expectations of other people are pre-meditated resentments” Wow !

    Friendship is about CAREing; Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage. And be a good LISTENER.

    Giving and Forgiving are both very important in friendships. Friends Love unconditionally. “1000 Kisses Deep”

    Love this Stan. Thanks so much. You too, Adrian.

    Al Smith
    PAS Consulting, LLC
    http://www.TheCareMovement.com

  6. [...] independence and I’ve managed to brush my teeth, reply to a few comments of this blog, read The Economics of Friendship. And other social media DOHs by Stan Faryna, feed myself oranges for breakfast, tweet about my Clean Water For All Campaign – [...]

  7. Wow, Stan. I was still contemplating your post from last week and then you deliver this post. You’re really occupying my thoughts quite a bit. Well done.

    I agree with everything. Deep friendship, 1000 kisses, is an incredible gift. Of course you don’t have to ask friends to prove their friendship, but when they come through for you, it means the world.

    The past 9 days, I have been incredibly touched by the support I have been given through my blog. I had no idea how much my friends would come through for me, they have far exceeded what I would have ever expected. Stan, you especially have been amazing in not only supporting me but spreading the word that I needed support. I humbly thank you.

    And I do feel very indebted to my supportive friends. But I hope they know that I will be there for them too.

    I am troubled by your friend who was unkind to you after you supported him. His behavior is so extremely ungrateful that I have to ponder why he would repay such kindness with cruelty. The only thing I can imagine is that he was jealous of you, that you were able to help out his parents when he couldn’t. So instead of being grateful, he was jealous. Very sad for him, no wonder he has no friend but whiskey.

    My belief is that insecurity is the root of all evil.

    Thanks, Stan, for occupying my thoughts again for another week. This is a great habit I’m developing!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      “insecurity is the root of all evil” – that is a profound insight! I wonder if the conditionality we put on friendships stems from insecurity. In other words if I do something for you, you are morally obligated to pay back in kind. I like to think that it’s in my best interest to be a generous person because I will have a more loving perspective towards life, people etc. And if I do a loving act for another individual there is no guarantee that the other will reciprocate but because I’m a more loving person the books will be balanced because another person will grace me with some unconditional act of love and do something for me. Stan writes my favorite kind of blogs – the ones that make you think.
      Riley

      • Stan Faryna says:

        Riley,

        I was reading your blog post, What’s wrong with always being right.

        http://rileyharrison.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/what%E2%80%99s-wrong-with-always-being-right/

        I found myself nodding in agreement quite a bit.

        For example, you write:

        “[Exchanging business cars] is a social convention and not exchanging business cards is like not shaking hands. It’s a slight rebuff and is a subtle way of offending people.”

        Put another way: when I don’t give someone a business card, it means I don’t want to do business with that someone. And it could mean that I don’t want anything to do with them. Period. After all, you aren’t giving them any kind of contact information.

        The last time this happened was quite memorable because both parties (myself and the other gentleman) did not offer each other our business cards. I think he was surprised as it may have been the first time someone didn’t offer him their business card.

        Obviously the gentleman was quite comfortable not offering his. And so was I.

        But, Stan, he was a billionaire! I know, I know…

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Your kindness and attention is received with uplifting surprise and thankfulness. Thank you, Carolyn. I appreciate you.

      As one of your fans, I am proud to show my support for you.

      Readers, you can join me in a show of support fro Carolyn! You can read about how to help her at Adrienne’s blog post here: http://adriennesmith.net/with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

  8. Mike10613 says:

    Hi Stan,

    Friendship is something I think a lot about, some people don’t think enough about their friends. I talked to an online friend all morning the other day. I help two students in China, one I have known since she was in school. The business school they study at is part of my local university and they both plan to come to England to study next year. I am important to them because they will be in a strange country, thousands of miles from home. They ask my advice about their problems and I try to help, they trust me and that is a measure of friendship. I usually send one of them a card on her birthday and money because I have known her a long time and I am considering whether to send money for both of them. They aren’t getting on too well and I would like to heal the rift between them; this is not easy! I think they are both envious of each other, one is envious because the other is smart and makes money. The smart one is envious because the other has good looks, siblings and two parents. Envy is a problem. Anyway, my blog for today has just been published!

    I hope you don’t forget my Farmville guest blog! :)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Mike, I appreciate you.

      The beauty of friendship is not to be overlooked. It gives so much. Yet we all seem not to give something that can be wonderful so little thought. And as you observe, it’s so easy to be caught up in our own things that we do not give much thought of our friends.

      It’s awesome that you support two students in China. Your giving makes their life that much better. It makes them that much better.

      I haven’t forgotten about you doing a guest blog post. Thank you for reminding me. I’ll be in touch, soon.

  9. I’m digging Adrian’s metaphor too.

    Beautiful and deep as always, Stan. I always keep my debts to my friends in mind, be it financial or otherwise. I would much rather be owed, than owe. I don’t like to think that a friend might feel that I was not fair to them. And I know that I can easily forgive the opposite situation, not sure how easily others forgive.

  10. “A good friend lifts us up. They celebrate with us – especially the things that matter most. Life, for instance. Ourselves. The people written in our hearts. The amazing things we are here to do.
    A good friend stands by us. They help us to keep on feeling strongly, loving strongly, and being whole-hearted as we stare into the thousand faces of our failures, trials, pain, sorrow, and disappointments.

    A good friend is a gift to us. We receive them as a gift when they show up. We see their friendship as a gift. They surprise and delight us. Their presence is a cause of joy and thanksgiving”

    Agreed! The give and take in relationships maybe never be equal, I think it’s unwise to hope it will be, peoples natures, resources and time, will make the pendulum swing somewhat erratically as will the burden of expectation. However, I always go back to the old school wisdom which has served me well. “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. To be honest, I have many many acquaintances, but only a handful of friends. This is somewhat by design..and somewhat because I have high expectations within relationships and am not willing to tolerate being treated repeatedly badly..by anyone…But the people who remain in my life, know I am as loyal a a rock and as loving as a baby. Nicely done here Stan! xx

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Stacey, I appreciate you.

      I enjoyed your guest blog post about expectations here:
      http://lifeforinstance.com/2011/09/01/how-do-you-manage-expectation-2/

      I like how you describe expectations (in friendship or otherwise) as readings from your survival tools as you make your way through life and the world. But I think it goes beyond survival. The compass readings also refer to living life to the max. Perhaps, it just depends on where you are headed.

      Friendship is a virtue. Friendship is wonderful. And true friendship is worth fighting for.

      You’re right, people do and will make mistakes. And worse, they even make careless mistakes. Even when they know better. Myself included. But also all those self-help gurus, new age healers, and system lords (mash-up ref. to Stargate and Reiki) – not to mention all of their fans and followers too. Just like you said.

      It’s still wrong to fail in friendship. As you suggest, you don’t need to have malicious intent to do wrong. Most of the time (if you are lucky), the intent is absent – the intent to love, serve, give, and honor another as a friend. Most of the time (again, if you are lucky in your misfortune), the person that has offended you didn’t even consider you in the equation. They are only thinking of themselves when they are failing you as a friend.

      Maybe all someone can think about is what they obsessing about. Getting a book published – for instance. And they will forget the people that helped them face some of the toughest challenges along the way. They imagine that they move forward but it is a self-absorbed orbit about a thing that has no heart – letting friendships fall by the wayside because those “friends” no longer serve their present ambitions, envies, and jealousies.

      I can tell you, however, if someone does it like that, they’ll always be a failure. Because the successful do not leave skeletons rotting out in the open. The successful pay for the funerals or clean up. And we don’t even have to get into delusions that an e-book is going to be a New York Times best-seller within a year from the self-publication date.

      When an actual million dollar contract is not waiting to be signed – there’s no reasonable explanation for any kind of stampede that tramples upon good intentions and friendships.

      Yes, it can happen to the best of us. I mean, the best of us can be so wrapped up in us (for all the right or wrong reasons) that we forget to be the friend that we have promised (spoken or unspoken) to be for another.

      Sometimes the fails are small and negligible and signify nothing in the timeline of the friendship. When it’s big enough to weigh upon your heart for days, something must give. Or something must break. When a person puts you at a disadvantage for sake of what they imagine to be their own advantage, obviously we know that they are not just not a friend, they are an enemy.

      I know that no one likes to count enemies and we all would rather just forgive, forget, or ignore that we keep enemies close at hand, but I don’t believe that’s what Christ was talking about when he asks us to forgive them, pray for them, and let God rebuke them.

      In fact, I have become somewhat comfortable with the fact that I have enemies – especially those enemies among the mob, the powerful, and the rich. I can count the latter on two hands. Most of the time my list of enemies grew because I did the right thing. I don’t know if I successfully disrupted their plans and intentions, but I have caused them some embarrassment and delay.

      Of course, sometimes, the list grew because I did the wrong thing. And I pray for the courage and opportunity to do penance, amend the injury, and seek forgiveness. Did you notice the order of that description? It’s important. Forgiveness should be sought and given after performance of penance and the fixing.

      Wow. There is so much to think out on the matter of friendship. And it takes a big kind of self-honesty that brings it home.

      But back to the thing that I wanted to share with you, just because mistakes will happen doesn’t mean you can’t get a better view of that person’s character and their intentions. From the mistakes made. From the communication or lack of communication that followed. From lots of things.

      And, yes, I continue to believe friendship is worth a daring try, the accounting and going the extra miles, and even the fighting for.

      Big hug to you, Stacey.

  11. Stan, thanks for the great article :) Since you were sweet enough to want to hear my heart, I don’t want to let you down!

    I think that so many people have become caught up in their busy lives these days that they forget how important just simple acknowledgement is. It doesn’t take much of my time to be a good friend, to acknowledge my friends around me, to take notice when someone does something kind or good or extraordinary.

    What that acknowledgement gives to that person? Sometimes, perhaps not much… but sometimes, its very meaningful to them. How do I know that? Because that’s how I feel when people acknowledge ME!

    Friendships, interactions with others — those are the things most important to me — those are the things that I value most. It’s so refreshing to see that it is a top priority for so many others too!

    And for all of my friends out there, thank you for being 1000 kisses deep. I count myself fortunate to have you in my life!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Big hug to you, Heather.

      A Million-Gazillion thanks you to you!

      I really enjoyed your blog post, What do Healing Leaders have in common? http://bit.ly/healingleaders

      The qualities you describe are essential to true leadership. Every true leader must be a healer.

  12. Hey Stan,

    Oh, where do I begin.

    First I’m so very sorry your friend was so horrible to you. Unfortunately, I’ve had several of those same experiences myself which is why I guess I finally learned my lessons.

    I can also relate to what Betsy said and recently ended two very long term friendships for that very same reason. Our entire friendships evolved around what was best for them, how I could help them, advice I could give them and unfortunately, it was never reciprocated.

    I just enjoy interacting with people period. I appreciate each and every person who visits my blog and any comments they would like to share. I also learned early on in my blogging experience that you need to give more then you receive without expecting anything in return and you will eventually have those things show up in your life you want the most.

    I’ve always been a people person and I’ve always been a nurturer. I have a feeling I’ll always be that way. Heck, I’m happy that people just stop by my place every once in awhile, I feel so very blessed.

    I also have so many wonderful friends online and offline so I do feel truly blessed. They definitely lift me up and always make me feel so special. I just hope I’m able to do the same for them as well.

  13. billdorman says:

    There is an economics to friendship; however, it shouldn’t be tallied on a balance sheet. At different times it can tilt to the left or right, but hopefully you can keep it close to the center so both parties benefit.

    I really try to give of myself with little or no expectations in return; I’m smart enough to know people are different and always at some level it will be ‘what’s in it for me’. However, the more I can give of myself I always seem to be repaid many times over.

    I will say, don’t be afraid to get close to people; reach out and let them know they mean something, make them feel special.

    Thanks for mentioning me in your post and I didn’t really have a silly quip at this time. Even online, I think eventually you will see who the giver and takers are.

    You are, Stan the man.

  14. Stan Faryna says:

    It’s good to see your comment, Bill. I appreciate you and you taking the time to contribute to this conversation.

    BTW, your last blog post about coming out (as a blogger) is a hoot.
    http://t.co/44Riy08

    I’ll be the first to agree with you that the bookkeeping isn’t the priority. Love, honor, and respect, I believe, is at the heart of a good friendship. It’s a lot like marriage.

    Like you, I am also a big believer in giving, sharing, and encouraging others without expectation of any return. But when I give without expectation, I observe that I do so free of certain responsibility and commitment.

    When I give five bucks to someone on the street, I am not making a commitment to help them further. I’m not making a commitment to them as a friend to do everything I can to assist them in their life. That person could freeze to death, tomorrow. Or die of a heat stroke. Or hunger. Or dehydration. Or a combination of complications. Complications is such a useful, non-emotional word. Like the word, collateral damage. If I’m very lucky, I will never know that’s what had happened to someone that I cavalierly helped with a few bucks.

    The giving without expectation does not preclude friendship, but it also does not bind us in friendship. Because friendship, in fact, comes with expectations and obligations. Such is love.

    I can give a man a helping hand and have an affair with his wife or lover, for example, precisely because he is not a friend. Were he a friend, I would never entertain a fantasy about his wife or lover, make invitations, nor accept her advances. And I have been in both situations. Many, many times.

    I do not brag when I confess that there were men who found it outrageous that I could destroy their happiness when I had helped them so profoundly. They mistakenly thought me to be a friend. I, however, merely considered them as a charity with no further obligations.

    I am, however, reminded of a story of a Harvard business professor who used to buy a homeless man a cup of coffee everyday on his visit to Dunkin Donuts. Winter came and one day the homeless man didn’t show for the coffee. In fact, he had frozen to death the night before.

    The professor realized that through the many years of their interaction, he had come to love the man as a friend. And as a friend, he had failed the homeless man. Despite the professor’s considerable wealth, he had let a friend freeze to death.

    The professor immediately liquidated almost everything (properties, investments, etc), quit his post at Harvard, and founded a food bank called Lazarus at the Gate. He spent his remaining years living at a poverty level of humility and helped the poor get food, clothes, and shelter.

    I didn’t meet the professor, but I came to know of his work because I worked at his food bank as a volunteer. In fact, I started working there a few days after he had died. It took ten men and women to fill his shoes. And, sadly, even ten men and women could not keep the food bank going six months after he had left us.

    The professor was working in miracles. At the time, none of us had the faith, commitment, and blessings to overcome the challenges that he ate for breakfast with a grin.

  15. billdorman says:

    My eyes were open but I didn’t see. And who really has the fortitude to reach out to those in need, or like you say, just hope you don’t hear about it.

    Pretty deep, but well thought out; certainly something that resonates with you.

    Thanks for opening up.

  16. Wow Stan,

    Thank you SO much for that compliment. I’m glad I finally popped over to your place and decided to snoop around a bit. I absolutely love interacting with people who speak their minds and are not afraid to be vulnerable when needed.

    You have some great conversations going over here and what an inspiring response to Bill’s. I was sorry to hear about the man who’s homeless friend froze. He gave to a good cause and I’m so sorry they couldn’t keep it open upon his death. I bet that was a great experience having volunteered there though. If only we all could do something like that.

    Thanks again for your very kind words. They are very much appreciated. Now, enjoy your day and your weekend as well.

    Adrienne

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Big hug to you Adrienne.

      I appreciate you.

      Did I tell you that I think your blog post is brilliant? This one: Promote Yourself: It’s All About You & Your Business

      http://adriennesmith.net/promote-yourself-its-all-about-you-your-business/

      The one thing you can do to improve on this in terms of value is create a monthly post with all the new adds (their information and links) for the month. That would give better search results and reference.

      Anyway, this is just a suggestion, what you are doing is already a big give.

  17. Stan.
    This is without doubt the best post I’ve had the pleasure to read in a very long time.
    I have been there and had that done to me with so called friends. In fact it was done to me on Friday of this week. Being able to see it helps, but it hurts when you get taken again for living as a friend.
    I find that there is an attraction in deep friendship that is based upon some very common likes.
    Close friends you can count with the fingers of one hand, no thumbs included :) Losing one hurts too and these days you just cannot replace that like a finger!
    I came by here due to your comments on twitter and mentions of my tweets there.
    Thanks for doing that. I am distracted at the present, but not that much that I don’t get curious about someone like you.
    So I want to say that I really liked this post and will check out more of them. Likely listen to a podcast or two as well.
    You content is refreshing as I am sooooo tired of lists on how to build a following online.
    Hearing a true voice, for I see that in your words, is so refreshing. All the very best and please keep posting these steller insights
    Billy

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Thanks for your kind compliments, Billy.

      Friendship, like love, fuels us, makes us, and, yes, it sometimes breaks us.

      But beyond that, I would like to imagine that friendship – like love – is a trail of pennies through time and space. Leading to the greatest love and friendship. Between you and your maker.

      As you can tell, I was inspired by your audio cast about pennies:
      http://social-tango.com/audio-posts/

      Of course, our light-hearted collaboration brought me a great, big smile:
      http://social-tango.com/social-media-explained-again-and-even-better-part-2/

      You should tweet @dino_dogan with a link to that. I think Dino will love it.

      But wait, there’s more! [imagine a paid TV advertising voiceover]

      I too have advice about how to build your online following!

      It’s here: http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw

  18. [...] Stan Faryna updated this list when visiting my post on this subject. It was so good that I have listed it here [...]

  19. Thanks Stan.
    I see a friend here as well. BD otherwise known to all as Bill Dorman. Tough audience to keep in line I must say.

  20. Yogizilla says:

    Adrian asked me why I wasn’t here sooner with some comments but here I am! I love this concept.. I’ve often looked at economics for various things. In fact, one of my more recent articles over at one of my blogs was “The Economy of Gaming” or something to that effect. I feel that there is always an internal “cost versus value” debate, though some of us are more aware of it than others.

    Of particular note here is how online relationships seem to come with a greater expectation. We tend to not feel loved if a friend won’t click a few buttons for us. In our minds, it’s an easy thing to do and, if we are liked so much, why can’t they do this simple thing for us, right?

    I’ve fallen into that trap myself.. Here’s what I found: everyone has a workflow or pattern online. With so much vying for our attention, unless we are constantly engaging people and keeping doors open, things are bound to fall through the cracks. If it happens to us then why not others?

    We need to be more empathetic or at least sympathetic when it comes to the strains that online relationships may impose on us, even if they are mostly self-imposed. I believe in reciprocation, not in the sense that you expect something in return all the time but, rather, you give more than you take. Thing is, that takes more time than most want to give, eh?

    You got my brain going in different directions here. I hope the gears don’t burn out! ;o)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Yogizilla,

      How do you just throw out a blog title like that without a link?!

      [laughing]

      That’s just silly not to put the link out there. It’s like you reaching into your pocket to fetch a business card and whoops! you don’t have your business cards on you.

      I’m teasing you, of course. But I must insist that you leave your links and the links of others if it is relevant to the conversation.

      Just because some people have abused the old school courtesy and noobs never knew that hyperlinks are what make the intertubes superior to the censorship and bottle-necking of ideas as practiced by the old media… doesn’t mean we should stop throwing good links here and there.

      Rant off.

      Maintaining the connection is a challenge as you say. We have to make it easier for each other.

      For example, you got to put your blog url on your Twitter profile.
      http://yogizilla.wordpress.com/

      Why the heck would you make me search for it?! [big grin]

      Oh – sign your comments with your blog link. That’s just straight-forward adaptive SEO!

      Oh- rant was supposed to be off.

      To hell with those noobable bloggers that get uppity when you throw your “signature” after a substantial comment that contributes to the conversation. A two- line signature is fine in my old school opinion.

      Make it easy for people to connect with you whenever you bring added value to a forum, blog post, etc.

      Rant off.

      Make it easy for people to sustain a relationship with you. Reach out and throw a tweet their way when you’ve started a conversation that you want them to be a part of. A reminder is ok too.

      A few years back, there were some interesting discussions in Yuwie (a now defunct social network) about what is spam.

      This is what the community decided: when we’re talking about interactions between you and someone on your friend, follow, or fan list, nothing that happens between the two is spam until you blocked them, unfollowed them, or cancelled the connection.

      What do you think?

      I think that’s a practical definition that avoids the pitfalls of anti-social attitudes that can be a real conversation and engagement killer.

  21. Just like Yomar, I am wondering why I just got here today…But I am here because you reached out on FB and asked to be my friend today. Thank you for taking the time to look me up. And I think Someone else needed me to hear it.

    In the last year and a half, I have struggled to keep friendships. I was rude, short with friends and hurt a few very close friends by not giving them my time. With some self-reflection, I quickly came to see I hadn’t nurtured my faith or my soul with anything for so long. Going to church had become a chore since I was asked to give, give, give. I wore so many hats there, I was resenting even going. Teaching Sunday School, teaching classes and being in charge of too many committees.

    It finally dawned on me I was on empty.

    I’ve taken this summer to reconnect with some of the friends I’d ignored and they’ve welcomed me back. Real friends stuck around. I am taking the time to read more, connect with my friends and go to (a new) church.

    Of all the things you’ve said in your post, the one thing that stands out is ‘Friendship, therefore, is also about showing up, being present, and sharing ourselves with the other.’

    I am showing up again and I am thrilled to find my true friends waiting.

    I am not sure it was age – I did turn 40 last year – or something else. My patience for ‘stupid’ people has run out. Lots of ‘friends’ took my time, but weren’t really friends.

    Now I am on the right path.

    Thanks for writing it all out. Your heart is not on your sleeve, you present it on a platter. Thanks for your friendship, Stan.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Dorien, I’m glad I found you. I noticed on Facebook that you bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to your online mission.

      It’s easy to run on empty when you’re chasing vision. Or dreams. It’s easy not to notice that you are giving less and less when you’re keeping on with the keeping on. Been there. Done that!

      Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Make time for you. If you take care of you, you’ll bring more to the share and give.

      Yes, there are times when we can’t take care of ourselves. There are tests that take us to empty and another 100 miles past empty. But I have fallen into the trap (more than once) to apply myself like that to every opportunity regardless of whether or not it was test. Or worthwhile. Oh- how that sucks to realize it too!

      And the next time you write about cookies, I’m going to demand a dozen. [grin]
      http://moreinmedia.com/2011/08/baking-social-media-cookies/

  22. Great story Stan! There have been a few times when I thought a friendship was more than it was. It can be a real eye-opener the first time you realize the reasoning behind the “friendship”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to not read too much into “friendships”, but I still try to treat people as if they are friends regardless of the fact.

    I think that’s the problem with our society, “what’s in it for me?” attitude. If we set that aside and be ourselves, and be friendly with no expectations the world will be a better place as long as we are smart enough not to let others take advantage of us.

  23. [...] The Economics of Friendship. And other social media DOHs! [...]

  24. Yogizilla says:

    BTW, Stan, you’ve inspired me to shift my focus once again about a topic I’ve wanted to discuss more: the currency of social media and relationships. I think some folks worry too much on empty reciprocation and lead/sales-generation.

    To look at just the material and tangible aspects of relationships is so short-sighted, yet that is the trap many of us fall into. I treat my offline and online friends and buddies the same.. In fact, I find those that interact with me in meaningful ways online, beyond our initial point of contact, has great value to me… but that’s because I’m a bit of a nerd. I am mostly digital these days. ;o)

    Seriously though, another beautiful podcast here.. I said this already but figured I would resound my thoughts.

    Now, repayment.. Repayment comes with time and in ways we don’t always expect if we nurture the bond over time. The “trick” is not to expect anything, even though deep down inside we may want that.

    OMG…

    Yes, you will NOT have good friends until you are a good friend to others. People, customers/clients inclusive, do not care until we know how much we care. My heart goes out to your friend. Whiskey is great but not a good substitute for the warmth of a real friend.

    You know, I feel I’ve known you forever, Stan.. I feel so close to you. I often write about “warm connections” and how they are lacking all around us.

    Why is it that folks forget about the social aspect of social media? It boggles my mind sometimes, though the answers are pretty obvious….

  25. susanmazza says:

    For me the value of friendship is felt, not measured. And just because we have metrics in social media doesn’t translate into an indication of the value of those relationships.

    I tweet because I love the conversations, the sharing, and have formed very valuable offline relationships in the process. When I think too much about measuring and being strategic it loses it’s magic for me. For me the real, heartfelt value is in learning and in meaningful connection. Twitter in particular has been a very rich source of both for me.

    Meeting and engaging with people like you Stan have made my investment worthwhile indeed!

  26. Paul Morin says:

    Stan, this is a very thought-provoking post and the richness of the comments and reactions you evoked is equally impressive. I guess people take this friendship stuff seriously :-). As Knikkolette pointed out above, I think it’s important not to get too hung up on the term “friendship”. If you do, you can easily give either too much or too little credit to the relationship you’re describing. In the end, it’s all about actions and reciprocation. I like to say we live in a quid pro quo world. As another commenter pointed out above, I don’t think the “debits and credits” should necessarily be kept on a balance sheet, nor do I think that reciprocation should happen immediately or even necessarily in the short term. However, at least in my experience, relationships (friendships) need to be symbiotic in order to be sustainable. If all the love and giving flows in just one direction, it will not last. That is true online, offline, underwater, in outer space, wherever, in my opinion. Thanks for a kool post. Paul

  27. Hi Stan,

    When you’ve been on this earth long enough you start to learn that friends come and go. Some are meant to be here for awhile. Some are meant to stay for a lifetime. In each friendship is a valuable lesson that teaches us something about the human spirit and ourselves.

    I often wonder if “friending” people on Facebook was their sick joke on the rest of us when the term unfriending became common language. Facebook started to define all our relationships as friendships. But in real life there are real friends, relatives, acquaintances, associates, customers and more. We have blended the world of trusted, respected friends in with everyone else. Maybe we need to take a step back and remember what it was like before social media to get some perceptive.

    Thanks for the very thought provoking post!
    Sherrie

  28. Thank you, Stan, for your words.

    As others have noted above, sometimes we hit walls. We need to re-evaluate if we are doing something wrong….or if we’ve experienced friends that are not really friends.

    I try to treat others as I’d wish to be treated – Online and off.

    Words that spoke to me, “Take care of yourself and there is more of you to share.”

    That’s my project now. I’m out of practice. ;)

    To being gifts…

    ~Keri

  29. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  30. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  31. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  32. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  33. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  34. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  35. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  36. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  37. [...] 11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU [...]

  38. [...] a very nice way. Because your Castleville friends could become friends in the truest sense of friendship. Not all of them. But maybe one or two. Or [...]

  39. [...] life, love, blogging, friendship, money, corruption, a broken marriage, a hero, Darth AOL, PHP, online strategy, or whatever. [...]

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