These days it seems like technology in various forms is vying to become your one and only friend. Television and radio have been replaced by online video games, phone applications, podcasts, blog, vlogs, robot people, robot pets, automated tellers, virtual assistants, online robots, and all forms of social media, each of which is demanding your focus and attention. 

In addition, content providers and influencers (often with little to nothing to offer but a pulse and cell phone) vie for your attention.

So, beware the faux friend. Yes, with selective wisdom some of these tools can offer life benefits and valuable assistance. BUT…

  • Parents using Facebook to share pictures of the grandkids with the grandparents… wonderful. Keeping up to speed with what everybody had for lunch… not so much. 
  • A true expert’s video on how best to plant tomatoes or repair a dryer… instructive. Sharing a video of someone else taking in a concert or lying on the beach… not so much
  • A blog that thoughtfully outlines the pros and cons of important debate questions… helpful and thought provoking. Pollsters and positional advocates screaming their positions at you… insulting.
  • A game of online chess with a friend… priceless. The irresistible and unrelenting mental stimulation provided by video game bells, whistles, and other forms of automated reinforcement… diabolical. 

Some of this is simply a waste of focus, time, and energy. It offers little to no value in return. Much of it attempts to create a lasting, meaningless relationship. Reject the nonsense, and invest in real people, pets, and plants; you will be much more content.

Most great lives burst at the seams with great people. Now, assuming you have chosen and cultivated relationships thoughtfully, how do we go about optimizing our relationships with others? Maintaining constructive relationships takes effort.

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