I’ve been blessed with a handful of friends in my life. I could never at any given time count more than about two or three. I have been able to maintain two childhood friendships despite distance and years apart. As we grow older we get closer. We experienced losses together as well as laughter. We grew together and failed together. We disagreed, we grew apart and went about our lives occasionally wondering what the other was doing.
We moved and changed phone numbers. Somehow we found each other again. We didn’t de-friend people. We lost touch, hung up on each other and that was that. But an idle comment usually didn’t lead to the end of a friendship. Hopefully, we could work through it.
At least there wasn’t public humiliation. You have to be pretty thick-skinned to maintain friendships through social media sites. You have to be able to communicate not through voice, touch or the eyes, but through emoticons, truncated language and pix.
I’m surprised at how clever some of these devices are that substitute face-to-face interaction with likes and brief comments. Facebook is a long list of people who were in my life for awhile through school and work. Some are online friends and I enjoy them sometimes more than ones I’ve spent time together in person.
The bonds of friendship are what make us who we are. They drift in and out of our lives and are part of our make-up. Virtual or not, they are to be treasured for the gifts that they are.