Old friendships weakened despite social networking

Justin Marinelli
Staff Writer

We live in the most connected and communicative time in history. We have the capability to communicate with essentially anyone we’ve met across the course of our lives. Why don’t we? Remember your high school graduation, when you totally told all of your friends that you’d stay in touch? If you don’t remember, trust me, you did. How many do you actually keep in touch with?

I certainly remember believing I’d keep in touch with my high school friends a lot more than I’ve ended up doing. It actually fascinates me that this happened. I suppose somewhere along the line I got caught up in my new life at college, and it took me until now to do some introspection.

At any moment, I could get on Facebook and send a message to essentially any of my high school friends that I promised to stay in contact with. Yet, I don’t. I keep in touch with only about two or three of my old friends. Not because those were the only people I really cared about, but just because that’s how things ended up.

At the end of the day, a fair number of my friendships have faded because of a lack of contact, but not all of them have suffered that fate. While most friendships will get weaker with a lack of contact, some connections run too deep to fade. While this isn’t true for the overwhelming majority of friendships (I can count on only one hand how many people I have this relationship with), those few I have would have carried on just the same, even if we didn’t have the option to keep in touch through technological means.

In a way, I suppose you could say not keeping in touch is the best way to find out who you really feel a close connection with. Still, applying acid tests like this to find out this information is a bit of a harsh way to treat your friends. At the end of the day, fostering relationships takes work, even if it’s just a relationship between two friends. We have the opportunities and the tools we need to keep in touch with old friends. It would be quite a shame not to use them. Here’s my challenge to you this week: get in touch with an old friend you haven’t talked to in years this weekend. Catch up, rekindle the friendship and remember how things used to be. I know I’ll be doing that.

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