Have you ever added a new person on Facebook and felt proud? Like you’re achieving something? Like you’re actually a social person with a large social network?

Here’s a truth: your Facebook friend count is meaningless. Facebook friends don’t count as real friends. And you want real friend. Before Facebook existed, people had friends. Real friends. And that count is what you should be focused on. Facebook friends, fans, followers… those are meaningless numbers that will not fill the hole in your life, despite the feelings of progress you might feel from a few new added friends.

Let’s use a chess analogy:

In chess, a pawn is valued at 1 point per piece. There are 8 pawns in your army.

A queen is valued at 9 points. There is only 1 queen.

The casual relationships and acquaintances you will meet are like pawns. The great friend(s) you will meet in life, meanwhile, are like queens. And when it comes to these pieces, a single queen is worth more than all your pawns combined (point-wise).

Think about that: when it comes to your attention and developing your pieces, you should always look to be protecting or developing your queen. If you lose a few pawns, it’s not a big deal, but if you lose a queen, you then put yourself at a great disadvantage.

So, focus always on trying to find those great, quality friends. These are people who you will still be in-touch with 10 years from now. These are people whose kids you will be introducing your kids to. These people whose cities you will vacation to to visit them. These are people you you will grow old with. Remember that.

That’s not to say you should ignore a casual friendship. These friends you might just be acquaintances with, but it is through exposure to many people and acquaintances that you will be able to find the right people with whom you will develop strong friendships with. Also, the casual friend can be fun. You might not talk to them a few years down the road and you only socialize when there’s alcohol involved, but they serve a great role of having “fun” in a friendship.