8 years past, 0 status updates

Spent the day with friends I hadn’t seen in eight years. There was no reason why, really, we just all got busy and slipped out of touch.

It was so lovely to catch up, little by little. There was the comfort of connection thinned but not broken, the simple pleasure of a friendship that endures despite the passage of time. There was also the mysterious beauty of knowing that during this hiatus each had gone down paths and around curves unknown (and perhaps to be discovered and discussed, but not all right now) yet both had arrived once again at the same place. The friendship was like the path of a river that breaks off into tributaries, narrowing and widening and, eventually, joining in the sea.

I sort of like the fact that sans facebook this can happen. I am still quite attached to the way that life used to be before social media kept us all in contact all the time forever and always without pause.

Life for me has very much been a series of periods, perhaps even greater because there were times when I literally transplanted my life from one continent to another. But even if I’d stayed in the same place, there would still be distinct periods, we all have them. There are points of continuity, but there are also schisms and aspects left behind. Pauses. Silences. Some forever, others not so, and we don’t always know in advance which it will be or even notice the pause, the break happening, so organic it is.

Can we still have that in a facebook world? Can we be free to break off sometimes and find our space and our time, only to resurface when we are ready to? Or perhaps I’m the only one who needs some breaks with the past in order to move to the future unencumbered?

There are downsides, of course, to these pauses, breaks. Sometimes we lose touch forever with people we love very much, or admire, or respect, or enjoy.

Well, not really… we can always find them on facebook, or they can find us. Aha…  😉


6 thoughts on “8 years past, 0 status updates

  1. Wonderful post. I do like to go off radar sometimes. Sometimes the voices from social networking need to be turned off and we need to listen to the one in our heads… that’s become more difficult to do than ever before.

    1. I also think some are just natural networkers… they love it and thrive in the constant and extensive connections. I have friends like that. Me? I’ve never been one, in some cases much to my chagrin for I’ve had some amazing contacts in my life but the last thing I’d ever do was ask them for a favor, either personal or professional. I’m trying to teach my kids not to be so careful as I always was… I think that networking in my time was about seeking (sometimes unfair) advantage, and now it is just a natural, healthy part of their lives.

      I’m pretty good at turning off the voices, but neither am I a total introvert, so there’s always going to be a push/pull thing going on with me 🙂

  2. Last year, Facebook allowed me to hook up with a whole lot of former friends shortly before the 30-year high school reunion this year that I won’t be attending. I’m still in touch with two of those friends. The others reminded me why we fell out of touch the first time around.

    Meanwhile, through methods other than Facebook, I have had some long-lost contacts resurface after many years. I think it’s much cooler that way.

    1. Yes, it’s the old sifting of the grain 🙂

      I find it amusing that most people do end up unfriending and or blocking, even my kids who tell me that facebook is all about friending everyone.

      I do like the fact that people can find me via facebook (although sometimes it can be a bit, well, awkward). I like a lot of things about social networking, but I think with all things that affect our lives we need to be able to shape them so that they enhance and don’t detract. They are tools that we need to retain some control over.

      (Made me remember something I read about today, called “Freedom,” hehe: http://macfreedom.com/)

  3. This was definitely spoke to me, Tracey! I initially resisted the FB scene, focused on those moments of awkwardness and limited encounters, and ended up becoming a convert. I spent some years working with homeless youth, and Facebook’s usefulness for maintaining those connections brought me over. Totally agree with you about the necessity of a break, though – spending a few weeks at a time completely disconnected from the constant barrage of questionably-relevant updates is like the first gulps of mountain air after months in a smoggy city. I see other fishermen with their satellite internets, sat phones, smart phones, all kinds of things that I haven’t kept up on, and am just not into it… Pretty thankful for a profession that facilitates this periodic disconnect!

    Anyway, a pleasure to start following your writing, Tracey. I love your friendship-as-a river imagery. Nice work!

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