“Our society is so fragmented, our family lives so sundered by physical and emotional distance, our friendships so sporadic, our intimacies so 'in-between' things and often so utilitarian, that there are few places where we can feel truly safe.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
Friendships these days really do feel sporadic. We consider texting and Facebook, among other social media sites and phone apps, as ways of keeping in touch, but how often to we actually speak to each other or see each other in person? I still "talk" to many friends from high school that I was very close with, some even being considered my best friend at one point or another, yet I am not invited to personal events of theirs like their weddings or baby showers.
And why is this? Would I think of them when inviting people to an intimate gathering? Probably not. Because we aren't truly engaged, we aren't truly friends, because we don't invest in each other. A "friend" is defined in the dictionary as: one attached to another by affection or esteem.
I think I feel connected to my high school friends because I am holding on to special memories of those days that connect us. When we talk we don't have much to commiserate about via Facebook message besides the "good ol' days" and asking each other how we are. We are not truly attached by affection.
I actually removed my friends in Arizona from my Facebook friend list because I was settling for their updates on my newsfeed and feeling like I was connecting with them regularly, when in fact I hadn't seen one of them in a year. Text messages and online conversations took the place of real interaction in person, and I was shocked so much time went by without me seeing a "friend" that I considered one of my closest. Now I have to work harder to stay connected with them and that has made both of us talk on the phone more, visit each other more, and plan activities for our girls to do together.
This is not to say to defriend everyone you aren't close to, or those that you don't talk to enough in person, because social media is great and it has done wonders for my close family who cannot watch my girls grow up in person. What I am trying to say here is that our friendships shouldn't be sporadic. They should take time, and they should have more in-person interaction, or at least verbal communication through Skype or the phone.
Lets take time in this busy world to invest in our friendships so that we can truly know a person in this fast-paced age, and lets try to maintain those special relationships so that we can have meaningful connections with others. My mother has had her best friend for over 30 years. I have had mine for about 15 years so far. We don't live in the same state anymore. We are at two different places in life. But we still try to talk as often as we can (which isn't much, honestly!) and text almost every day. I want to keep this friendship close and alive. I want to make efforts to stay her true friend so that we can have these years and memories when our kids are grown. We have been there for each other through many dark times and many beautiful times. That is important to me, and I think taking extra time out of my day to sustain that friendship is 100% worth it.
Who do you need to call?