Okay, so you know how cool it is on Facebook when you run into someone you haven’t heard from in ages? Like ages ages, like you went to 2nd grade with them and you always remembered them because of some particular incident, like maybe it was the boy you had a big crush on until he PUNCHED YOU IN THE STOMACH because you got OUT in a stupid KICKBALL GAME. Can you believe that? Not that I’m speaking from experience. Or about anyone in particular (Pete Calhoun).
Initially when that happens, there’s a rush of reconnection, and then they just become one more person posting on your Facebook wall, and then periodically they stop being part of the landscape and you think, ‘Wow, I remember playing crab soccer with that kid and now he’s an attorney with four children and a receding hairline.’ And then you realize you’re getting old and you have to eat a lot of ice cream in order to numb the pain.
Or maybe that’s just me with the ice cream. But you’re with me on the rest of it, right?
Last week I wrote about how I wasn’t good at collecting things. Now that I think about it, there is one thing I’m good at collecting – friends. I’ve got ’em all over, and I’m fairly good at keeping in touch with them (though I am much better at keeping in touch with the ones who are far away, oddly enough). And I absolutely love what Facebook has wrought in that sense – allowed me to connect with people who represent different periods in my life, who remember things I do not, who make me laugh when I realize that we have all grown into these wonderful, creative, caring people with lives and loves and passions and careers and families when ten years ago we were trying to figure out how to pay our bills and twenty years ago we were trying to figure out how to get a prom date and thirty years ago we were trying to figure out how to hold a pencil. And I don’t think I’d have that shock and pleasure if we hadn’t drifted apart in the first place.
But here’s what bothers me about this. The generations who are growing up with social networking – and maybe some of you are reading this – are they ever going to have that? Are they ever going to be able to lose touch with someone just to have the pleasure of getting to know them again?
If you have answers to that question, or if you have a story to share about reconnecting with an old friend, please leave a comment below!