Sometimes in this, the social media age, it’s hard to know exactly what the word “friend” means. I’ve been called “friend” by people I’ve never met on Twitter. I have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, I wave at “friends” across the room at church.
It’s easy to feel surrounded by friends, except how many of these people really know me?
How many of these friends would let me into their house without apologizing for the mess?
How many people know the worst parts about me but love me just the same?
And…am I that person for anyone in my life? Am I a good friend? Do I show up? Do I let anyone see behind the Instagram filter?
In perfect timing, as I have been pondering these questions, Melanie Shankle sent me her new book about friendship. It’s called Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship and releases on April 7th.
Aside from the fact that Melanie always makes me laugh out loud (which can be embarrassing if you’re reading on a quiet plane when everyone is asleep), her books make me want to scream things like, “Yes!” and “Me too!” and “I’m glad I’m not the only one who was drinking my weight in soda and making $50 car-phone calls in college.” (Also maybe I just enjoy not feeling like the only one old enough to know what a car-phone was.)
And this, her new book, is a beautiful memoir of friendship. In fact, I am clicking over to Amazon right this second to order a copy for every one of my friends. (Not every Facebook friend though. I am not made of money.)
Here’s the thing: it seems that over the last couple of decades we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for “community” on Facebook and Twitter and through a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without commitment. We have a tendency to swim in the shallow pool of relationships because we know that getting deep can equate to being vulnerable. And more often than not, that’s a risk we’re not willing to take. It’s so much easier to just text a few happy-face emojis.
And while I loathe talking on the phone (oh, the anxiety), I think she nails it.
We have substituted meaningful friendship with likes, follows, and filtered realities.
Nobody’s Cuter Than You made my heart swell with memories of childhood friends, college friends, and the women who hold my heart today. I finished the book feeling challenged and inspired to dig deeper, be a better friend, and let real friends see the real me.
Click here to find out more about the book and order a copy for yourself (and all of your friends). There are also free printables like this one:
Want to win a copy of Nobody’s Cuter Than You? Leave a comment below and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Friday. Giveway has ended.