Recently a friend said to us over dinner that have chosen to be very deliberate and intentional about their friendships. The word stuck in my mind.  At a totally different dinner last week another friend said the exact same thing.

There seems to be a sense that, despite the multitude of ways we can now get in touch with one another in a matter of seconds, there is more required to maintain a relationship with a friend.  Another friend blogged about this last year:

“I find myself wondering these days, in a world of mobile phones, computers and the like, all with varying degrees of social networking capabilities, are we actually any more or less in touch with our friends and family? …maybe I should be making more of an effort to keep in contact with friends as well as family and not just rely on those 140 word updates that flash across my computer or phone screen in moments of my life”

Later, she wrote:

“I’m not going to just mindlessly “like” someone’s posts that they make if I agree – I’m going to try and actually make a comment and engage them in conversation and actually think about what was said; I’ve been finding it too easy in the last year just to “like” something, without thinking about it, or the person much”

That’s one of my resolutions this year: to be more intentional about friendships.

But not just about friendships: also about the content I read online.  I want to write more thoughtful comments and not just click “like”.  I want to take a few moments to add a comment on a blog post I got value from.  I want to remember to add to a tip jar for a blog I get a lot of enjoyment from (Brain Pickings has nice tip jar wording).  I want to write short email notes of appreciation of other’s work.  I want to say “hello” and “thanks” more.

It’s easy to be critical and negative and reactionary online.
It’s harder but more rewarding to show gratitude.

While there is value for a blogger in seeing a lot of likes or retweets of their blog post, it’s real engagement with readers which is what is truly meaningful.

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