September 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Remember the youthful trend of bribing people with the promise to be someone’s best friend? You’d negotiate the exchange of a cookie or coveted seat on the school bus for a pal’s ephemeral elevated allegiance. Until the next grade-schooler came up with a more tempting option and you were back to being simply friends again.

1950s - Painted Ladies - Best Friends Forever

Image by clotho98 via Flickr

These days online friendships are frequently measured by comments, likes and retweets. And offline? It’s complicated.

Time was, we’d pick up the phone for a long chat with nearly any of our friends. Now family, circumstance, career and technology have most of us playing phone/text/Facebook/Twitter/e-mail tag and trying to find an ever elusive mutually convenient time to catch up.

It’s exhausting.

It’s confusing.

It makes me question the nature of true friendships and revisit the thoughts behind an earlier post on pruning old friendships.

While I still have my core group of BFFs, some people I once considered close friends have become those with whom I [at best] share an occasional comment or inside joke on a shared social network. It’s all very civilized, but it feels crowded and sometimes fake.

Where a friendship might have once naturally run its course, it now seems to travel through a more circuitous path depending on shared public profiles. In many ways it was easier when a break-up was more permanent and moving on meant just that.

These days there seems to be the pull to publicly cling to as many former friends and colleagues as possible at the risk of losing sight of the more important and treasured friendships and relationships.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure that I want everyone who was once in my life to remain there. I didn’t love everything about high school and I certainly didn’t love everyone I went to school with – why would I want to know what their dog ate for breakfast?

I’m still trying to figure out how to tackle that particular persistent clutter without seeming anti-social-networking.

Where Am I?

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