Online Friendship - Many older people will tell you that technology has gone too far, that we have no privacy anymore, and that we are always "turned on electronically". We all now have cell phones, and ipods, and laptops being toted around with us. There really is no where to go that is unplugged anymore. But there is one thing that has come from technology that is a good thing for sure.
That is the ability to stay in touch with friends. No matter where in the world they are.
You know how it goes. You are all best buddies in grade school and through high school, then one goes away to university, another stays, another heads across the country. You swear you will stay in touch and the letters and calls get less and less as our lives get busier, and now you only send Christmas Cards. We start careers, we marry, we have kids, and we just lose touch. We certainly don't mean to, but we do.
My kids asked me one day what happened to some of my friends when they were looking through photo albums from my school days. Some I had stayed in touch with, some I was quite happy never seeing again!, but others had got away. I had a vague idea where they were, and would not think about them for ages, until some date came up that sparked a memory or just in passing, someone asks "what ever happened to so and so?".
So, one day I decided it was time to find out. I got online and started with Face book and searched their names. I couldn't believe it, when literally five minutes later I had one of them! I recognized her picture even though I had not seen her in thirty years!. I dropped her a line, and we picked up where we left off. We now have a online friendship, and it is just like we were kids. Lots of catching up to do, and looking forward to emails. It just never occurred to us to really look. It was always one of those "one day" things. Or maybe next time we were traveling we would look them up.. Just was not happening.
Emails make an online friendship easier to nurture. You can write when ever you feel like dropping a line, without getting envelopes and stamps and writing paper. Your letter is waiting for them when ever they feel like reading their email. You can send pictures or movies online. It is a great way to get to know a old friend all over again!
Email makes the world seem like a smaller place, as I have found other friends online. Most countries are connected now, so it is a cheap way to stay in touch.
It didn't take long to find them either.. If it were not for the internet, we would never have talked again. I don't think we would have bothered to even try and find each other, but now it is like high school and passing notes. It takes you back, and makes you feel good.
So, now that I have my online friendships, I decided it was time to also nurture my real live around the corner friends! We all have families and jobs, and you just get busy. So, a little while ago, just after I found all my other friends online, I decided we should actually set dates to meet. Rather than meeting at weddings and funerals, we would set a date for dinner once a month.
I sent out emails to my local friends, and we then decided that we would pick a date and stick to it. If one couldn't make it, we went anyways. So, I started this six months ago, and it has been great. We pick a local restaurant and we get caught up. We meet at five pm when it is not busy yet, and we have fun for a couple of hours, then just before we leave, we get out our calendars and we make a date for the next dinner. I find by making the date right then that you are more likely to stick to it, rather than saying "lets do this again sometime" you actually do it!.
So, if you feel yourself and your friends becoming victim to today's busy lives, or a good friendship ending because one is moving away, then get proactive. It is so easy to let friends slip away, and yet they are a part of you and your history, they help to form who you are today.
So, you need to form a friendship club, and have meetings! Or in our case dinner out. With no hubbies, or kids, just the girls..
My son saw this happening as well, as him and his best buddies are getting near thirty, they are getting busy with careers and families. They decided that Thursday's would be guys night. They all live within an hour of each other. Anything from just hanging out, to going out. Who ever can make it great, if you can't then see you next week.. They have been doing this for about five years now..
Some have moved away, but are now a online friendship. By keeping in touch, either in person or online, you will always know what your friends are up to. Also can go and visit and not feel that uncomfortable silence that can happen after twenty years or so of going through life without them.
Friends are good for the soul. We craved and needed them in our teens, and swore to be together always.. You can't just forget that. In a world that is full of stress and busy lives, getting together with friends, even online, has been shown to help with good health, and lower blood pressure. If you had true good friends, and you have lost touch, try and find them. It is worth the effort, even if you can only have an online friendship right now.