find true happinessWe live in a socially validated world.

We get off on how many ‘likes’ we get on Facebook, how many friends we have on Facebook or knowing many people are following our stupid quotes on Twitter. We live in a society that is constantly looking for social validation and social proof.  It’s kind of crazy.

You can probably count your true friends on one hand. A true friend is someone you can call at 3:00 AM. A true friend keeps dark secrets for you. A true friend will tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it.

A friend doesn’t care if you’re angry with them. They’d rather you knew the truth. It’s hard to find good friends, because it’s hard to be a good friend. Friendships take time to develop and it requires a person to not just tolerate your faults, but understand them and love you because of those faults. A great friend loves every side of you, your light and your dark.

A true friend is rare.

Hence, why I find it so repulsive when people have 500 Facebook friends and they’re posting their inner most thoughts.

I’ve seen people with a thousand followers discuss their girlfriend’s private life. I’ve seen people talk to strangers about how to deal with their boyfriend’s “erectile problem”.

Why do we value quantity over quality and how do we regain our sanity?

1. Followers Identify You As a Product, Not a Person.

People recognize you by your logo, not by the sound of your voice. Your logo is your profile photo. Some keep it simple; their photo is a picture of themselves. Maybe yours is a joke, a model, or your car… whatever it is, the words you type are correlated with that image instead of you as a person.

The same way a follower reads and corresponds with a tweet from Honda is how they respond to you. Your best friend can tell how you’re feeling by the pitch of your voice. They know how sad you are. They have years of experiences with you. A friend knows what you need before you do.

A follower knows what you tell them. They know how you feel and how they feel about how you feel. But someone you know exclusively through the internet cannot know you as a person, even if they seem to enjoy and hate all the same things you do. Every online relationship is superficial.

This is not to say the relationship couldn’t grow once you met in person, but it won’t grow any further than superficial as long as it remains online. The connections you make with people should be the relationships you value. Real-world relationships have value.

Think about everything you get from a good friend. You get someone who has your back 24/7, someone to share your stories with, someone to cheer for you when you win. A great friend is irreplaceable. When they’re gone they leave a space no one can hope to fill.

 2. A True Friend Opens Up to New Opportunities.

A great friend is not only supportive but they’re driving you to be the best you. When they hear about a job you might be good for they don’t just let you know about it, they go to bat for you. They make the people hiring know to call you in for an interview, or they’ll be missing out on a great candidate.

If a good friend sees someone they think you’d be compatible with they fix you up. A good friend is like a coach in your corner rooting you on, letting you know when you suck, and helping you improve for next time.

I’ve said this before, but it warrants repeating:

There is never going to be a time when you should feel fully satisfied. There should always be a growl in your soul for more. This growl is motivation and it should fuel you every morning. Having too much, being gluttonous, slows you down in every way imaginable. When your main goal in life is to have a million followers what are you really asking for?

Strangers to worship you?

Validation in your career?


None of those things can be found in a million followers. How many friends can you truly trust?

How many people are going to go to bat for you every day?

I want you to think about that today…

I want you to think about all the people you have in your life and do an inventory of all your friends. Cross off anyone who can’t keep your secrets. Remove anyone who pulls you back from goals you still want to achieve. Get rid of anyone who can’t revel in your successes. Throw out anyone who lies to you.

3. See Who is Left

I have a lot of followers. This isn’t a humble brag it’s just honesty, followers can be great and supportive, but with followers comes trolls.

You know internet trolls, nasty, vicious beings hiding behind keyboards, lurking in comments sections, waiting to say the first asinine thing to pop into their head. They’re never satisfied with one message. They bombard you with messages and try to provoke you into making a fool of yourself.

I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m trying to get you to think seriously about your life choices. I see too many people showing more respect for strangers on the Internet because they’re desperate to be liked, when their real friends have to schedule time to see them.

4. You’re Never Going to Get Time Back

You ever listen to the song ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ by Harry Chapin? It’s about a father who didn’t spend enough time with his son and then when he wanted to spend time with his son, his son became just like him. He got older, had his own family, and didn’t spend the time with his dad.


Put down your phone. Get off of Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and any other website you dedicate more then an hour of your time to a day. Step away because while you’re buried in there you’re missing the rest of your life.

All that time is time that you’re not spending connecting with the people you care about. It’s time to reprioritize your life. It’s time to dig deep, and look at where you’re at in life.

5. If You Want to Make a Change, Start Small

Who is left on your true friends list? Make time to be with them. Spend a single day trying to show them what they mean to you. I’m not talking about writing a letter or giving some gushy speech. Keep it simple. Take them to a concert they can’t afford. Offer to sit their kids, or pay for a sitter, so they can have a dinner date. Recreate the crazy night you had in college.

Just do something to show you appreciate them. They won’t forget it and neither will you. It’ll help bring your friendship closer, too. Start spending the time with the people that mean a lot to you. Build those friendships even deeper.  Fall in love all over again.  Spend time with family.  Spend time with the kids.  Spend time with the people that are important to you, and less time on Social media sites.

You will be happier for it.