Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Eternal friendships through the ether

You can easily hear the many cynics and others poo poo the way relationships and communications have evolved.  Yes, evolved - they are not the same as when we were kids, definitely far cry from our parents were younger and before that it's like a different planet.  That does not make them wrong, or better, or worse - evolution means adaptation (seems to be a theory lost on the creationist fanatics in too many ways) not necessarily total change.

My parents generation talked to their friends when they were kids out a window, or outside, or in their houses. I talked to my friends from my apartment window too but it was mostly to just say "Coming right down" or up to the window to say "yes I saw the streetlight am coming back up" -- the inflection for each totally different.   I talked to them on the phone and pre-cell world via notes in lockers during school, or passed ones in class.  On the phone - had this crazy long cord that I dragged away from my kitchen where my mother was likely with bat worthy radar hearing to hear all the things I did not want her to.  I talked while she was at work where she would make "emergency interruptions" - life was tough no call waiting.  I talked on my phone in my room which I loved, where she could pick up another extension and say hi to whoever I was talking to before she told them I had to go.  It was live and long until my ear was hot.  Conversations happened in person, with ice cream or cigarettes and tissues if the boy trouble was at hand or just cigarettes if boy was just in sights.  My kids talk on apps and text they have no interest in talking on the phone.  Much like my parents probably saw the telephone as a more impersonal way to talk, many see texting this way.  The only thing that irks me is that they are in danger of losing their ability to write correctly - that is all I watch for.  Otherwise their social media, texting is just their evolution to communication - not better, not worse, just different.

So as an adult I am no longer that into talking on the phone for long periods at a time.  I will do it during needed times, the sound of a friend or hearing a friend has a different soothing appeal still for me, but overall I do text.   Into this odd social media and texting world where long time friends get reacquainted and families as well as current friends share moments it was inevitable that a friendship would be started this way.  Mine is with my friend Kris  - she is my virtual bestie.  I felt a connection with her pretty quickly and it evolved just as fast and now I consider her a great friend who I can talk to about everything from Scandal (K - that sooo needs to come back soon - Fritz and dare I say even a smidge of Jake longing) to things going in our lives.  She has great insights and is continuously looking to improve herself, though she is pretty perfect from the looks to the person she is. Somehow we have started having these Sunday texathons where we really get to talk about so many things -- I look forward to them.  I find myself texting her at times when I think she will be the one to get the joke or aggravation.

My other super good friend Charles moved far away a few years into our friendship - over 20 years later (wow) and most of it spent keeping touch via letters (still have all of the cards and mixed cds and letters cause they were awesome), email, phone when we could catch each other in time zones and life events, occasional visits and now texts -- he is always in my list of people I am grateful to have as friends even if this friendship was maintained mostly while miles separated us but various methods of communications kept us together.

I have some amazing, close friends who I keep in touch with during our incredibly overpacked but good lives through random " I love ya and am thinking of you" quick texts - planning and rescheduling multiple times the much needed in person times. Distance not an issue when they are always just a call or text away.

This is today's world - shouting out the window turned into a window on a phone where our words come out in text ...for someone like me who often expresses better in writing than in words this is a good thing.  It is not a replacement to old fashioned conversation just an extension through the ether.  Your friendships are as they always have been, some besties, some close ones, some social and some that you smile and nod or in this case "like" their pics or status.  The essence has not changed just the method to keep them has.  This has not replaced the wonder of face to face interactions it just keeps them going in between the times we have to actually see each other.  

See ya later -- or for you folks who mastered more than my limited texting shortcuts - SYL.... and yes once in a while I do miss that handwritten note in my mailbox. 

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