At first, it was a novelty, reconnecting with people you lost touch with in fifth grade. They moved away or changed schools, decades before the digital age, and it seemed as if they had disappeared from your life forever.
Then, it became a convenient way to stay abreast of the daily ins and outs of your current friends.
You don’t talk to them as much as you used to, because you see what’s going on in their lives through Facebook.
Then, you get angry with them, because they posted pictures of the awesome girl’s night out you weren’t invited to.
But you begin to wonder if you were left off the list, because you don’t call as much. Because part of you knows that Facebook has made you lazy. You make a vow to put more effort into the friendship.
You call but get no answer. You call again. And again. And again.
You don’t get a return call, although you notice that even though your friend does not have time to return your call, she has time to post a status on the traffic she sat in during her morning commute, a snarky remark about a co-worker, a photo of the new shoes she bought on her lunch hour, and a running commentary on the girl’s night out she’s on with her friends—which, again, you weren’t invited to.
There is danger in our lives being so public, beyond the very real dangers with regard to our privacy. There is the danger of things taken personally, the danger of expectations not being met, the danger of sharing too much with the wrong people (let’s face it – do you even remember who is on your friend list?).
There is the danger of losing our friends, the real friends. The ones we used to call and check in with, and talk, and spend time with.
I am lucky to have friends who still call me, especially since I have not been the best at calling you. Sometimes a day goes by, sometimes a week, sometimes, a month. But you are forgiving, and you are always there. Once I pick up that phone, you listen. Because the things I need to talk about the most are not the things I discuss on Facebook.
Do you still talk on the phone, or has your communication shifted to texting and in-boxing?
Have you lost any friends over a misunderstanding that started on Facebook?
Have you had moments of envy – or anger - after not being invited to an event that was publicized on social networks by other people you know?
©2012 Ilene Evans