I’m sitting on the train on the way to Glasgow as I write this. No, I’m not off to another concert (that’s Friday night!) I’m off to meet a friend for lunch and maybe a little retail therapy and caffeine.
Spookily enough, Facebook reminded me this morning that it is exactly one year to the very day that we met up for last year’s pre-Christmas catch up. Apt considering that’s how we met.
It got me thinking about friendship. How we make new friends. How we keep in touch with old ones.
This fellow crazy rock chick and I met online through the mutual admiration of a certain rock star. We became “friends” online, “chatted” online and discovered many similar interests (she’s got to take some of the credit for being the inspiration that led to this blog page being born), likes and dislikes and finally, a few months down the line, we arranged to meet up face to face. The rest, as they say, is history.
Around the same time, I also became “friends” online with another crazy rock chick from Europe. Again online friendship blossomed and, very long story cut short, we both now co-admin a fan page on Facebook for said rock star and “chat” every day. A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband face-to-face when they honeymooned in Scotland. Again, we hit it off immediately.
Social media has made the world a smaller place and has extended my circle of friends around the globe.
I guess it’s one of the many “modern” ways of meeting people and forging new friendships.
I’m fortunate enough to still have three close childhood friends. Three friends I’ve known for forty some years- EEK that sounds scary!!
A couple of them I see regularly face-to-face, as we live near to each other. The third I see less frequently as she lives a couple of hundred miles away. Every time we catch up, whether it’s been 24 hours or 24 weeks, we pick up where we left off. However, social media has its part to play here too.
If we want to arrange to meet up for coffee or to pass on some news, we message each other. And we’re not alone here. Some 10 billion Facebook messages are sent every day! Gone are the days of spending hours on the phone. Life has moved on. The pace has quickened and social media is at times way too handy. I’ll be honest there are times when I really miss those long phone calls. Times when I’d like to hear my friends’ voices and not just read their swiftly typed message.
Naturally we gather friends as we travel through life. Friends made through the munchkins and their activities or school. Friends made by meeting the wives and girlfriends of the Big Green Gummi Bear’s friends. Friends made through working in the salt mine. That one for me is a tricky one, as I don’t generally as a rule allow myself to become close friends with the people I work alongside. It can complicate the working relationship and shift the work-life balance. I keep my “work self” and my “real self” quite separate deliberately. That said, over the years, I’ve met a few very special people through work that have become friends I couldn’t live without. And again, we are also friends on social media.
A definite theme is emerging here!
I’m sure some of what I’ve just said is resonating with you.
What would happen to all of these friendships now if social media was banned or simply ceased to exist?
In this modern world, where so many social interactions are online, how would friendships survive?
Would we return to spending hours on the phone to one another? Would we make more of an effort to meet face-to-face for a coffee or lunch? Would we return to writing letters to overseas penfriends?
It’s a thought, isn’t it?
Reflecting on the various friendships that are precious to me, I’m fairly confident that most of them would survive but I’m not about to put that to the test!
Now this train’s almost reached its destination. I’m off to meet my online friends face-to-face!