So a very good and very far away friend just posted this lovely piece Friends in Far Flung Places. She says lots of good things, but here’s a sample:
“So here we are now, in an era where you meet people in passing, and you connect with them on facebook, or twitter. And I’m not saying that in and of themselves these facilitate friendships, but I have found that they enable short, nay momentary, meetings to develop into an understanding of shared interests, opinions and values.”
And it got me typing (which is apparently the only way my brian functions anymore). And so here are my brief two cents on social media and friendship.
First, I think emails and the twitterverse enable us to be almost closer in a way than we ever could before, because it lets us keep tabs on those day to day things you lost touch with in those good “olden days” where news had to be written down on a page, stamped, posted, and eagerly waited on. Am I going to tell you about my new fangled addiction to the blueberry lemon scones at the local coffee shop that way? Probably not. Am I sure as hell going o post about it on Facebook? Um, yes, as soon as I finish eating this one…. And what, in the grand scheme of things does it MATTER if you know of my food cravings? Nothing. Except it means you’re in touch with my day to day life. All the seminal moments, and all the not so seminal moments that make up more of our life than the seminal ones. Lets face it, we have crises. We have trials, and tribulations, and joy. Sometiems we get drunk and sing karaoke loudly, and badly, or in honor of someone. And these days? We post the good, the bad, and the ugly, right along with, just finished coffee, off to workout. So while most people complain about all the mundane moments that get posted out there for the world to see (and secretly, voyeuristically, hedonistically LOVE), I don’t. Because if I can’t MEET you for a scone, I at least like to know that we both had one today. Or a beer. Or a glass of wine…. well. You get my drift.
Second thing. Which is a little bit the downside of that first thing. Which is to say, that its become so much easier to keep friends that we are amassing a larger and larger circle of friends. Which is why I’ve developed what I call the inner sanctum. Facebook has TRIED to emulate the concept by letting you create “lists” of close friends. Its not the same. Inner sanctum friends
are those that are privy to seeing you in your emotional birthday suit. They’re the ones you tell all those secret little fears, the ones you’re honest about your mistakes with. They’re the ones who beat up the bullies without asking whether you even want the bully taken out or not. The ones, I’ve found, who you don’t even have to tell your desires to, they know them in advance. These are the ones you’ll fly across the world to see just because perhaps they need a pick me up. And for wine of course. My inner sanctum always comes with wine. And cheese. Very good cheese too. 😉
And books. But hey, thats my inner sanctum. You can peek, and envy us our wine, cheese, and books, but memberships are exclusive and earned through friendship trial by fire. Or on the occasion by nudity int eh Mediterranean, but thats a different post….
I currently have more Facebook “friends” than I care to count, though Facebook says its well over five hundred now. Hey – I’m a writer, not a mathematician, and there’s a lot of people on there. I am grateful for them, though. And even more grateful that the prevalence of far flung friends has made me cling even tighter to those in the inner sanctum.
And you know who you are.