I make a certain face when I'm thinking hard about what to say, I used to say "that's hilarious" about things I didn't actually think were funny, and sometimes I can be way too serious. I wouldn't know any of these oddities about myself, though, if I didn't have honest friends.
We ask each other a lot of questions, not only to know each other well but to avoid living with blindspots. I would rather hear the hard truth now than wake up in a future disaster.
It's not just critiques, though. We make it a point to highlight each others' strengths, to encourage and affirm, to challenge one another. Wedged between the normal conversations and sarcastic banter is something I am really grateful for--it's the raw material of relationships.
It's knowing and being known. In a world of being seen by all and known by few, we need to fight hard to grow the real, deep connective tissue between us and the people in our lives. And that can mean removing distractions.
For me, one of those distractions was social media. I recently got rid of all of my accounts. I'm not the guy standing on a street corner with a sign telling everyone social media is the devil, but I would like to warn and encourage. I'm not telling you what to do, but I would recommend at least reading the warning label on what you're consuming.
At what cost are we willing to enslave our attention to these networks? We are decreasing our ability to do deep work, increasing levels of depression and anxiety, working on a highlight reel instead of our hearts, ignoring living people right in front of us, missing moments of connectedness that only show up when you're fully present...the list goes on and on.
Again, I'm not saying you need to get rid of social media. I will tell you it has been a breath of fresh air for me, though. I just personally believe the cost is too high and very few people are even remotely aware. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching the raw material of relationships, the deep connective tissue form, and I'm not willing to sacrifice even the smallest amount of that.
Cal Newport does a great job articulating some of these same ideas in his TedX video: Quit social media.
Books I recommend: