Drifting in the Wired Age

A few days ago, I had a short but pleasant conversation with an old high school friend who now lives across the country. I haven’t seen this friend in many years, and it was great to hear from her and get a glimpse into her current life.

I asked if she’d kept in touch with any other people we knew from school, to which she replied with, “One or two.”

And it’s kind of weird, once you think about it.

We have so much at our disposal. Text messages, emails, various social media sites, and – gasp – actually picking up the phone and calling someone. Yet, we still drift away. Sure, we may be “friends” in the superficial, Facebook-type way, where we see what they post and engage with the occasional like or comment. However, how much do we actually know these people now, versus when we went to school together all those years ago?

I’ll be the first to admit that most of the friends I have now are “internet friends” – people I’ve never met face-to-face, but I’ve maintained a (very) long distance connection with for years. Additionally, I find that these people know more about me than those whom we’ve met in person, be it through school, work, or wherever else.

Though we have all these virtual tools at our disposal, drifting away from those we used to know so intimately is one of life’s constants. Through the years we grow, we mature, we change for the better (and sometimes for the worse), and sometimes those old personalities no longer fit neatly together with our current selves.

There’s nothing wrong with phasing out of or stepping away from friends; it’s simply one of those many occurrences that’s bound to happen over the course of our lives. Does it feel good? Not especially. But nostalgia is one heck of a drug and so are digital photo albums. They might not be a close friend anymore, but they had a place in your life at some point, and hopefully, they were worth the memories.

(You should still send at least one of your old friends a hello, just to be nice.)

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