Social media wasn’t something I bothered with before I got married. “Facebook?” I remember asking my (then) fiancé. “What’s the draw?”
Well, for good or ill, he showed me. I’m really not sure whether to give him the stink-eye for the immense amount of time-suckage that’s followed, or thank him for helping me build a bridge to friends and family I wouldn’t otherwise see.
I remember the excitement I felt each time I reconnected with a family member on the other side of the continent, or with a dear friend I’d made in New York, or a classmate I hadn’t seen since high school graduation.
But something else happened in the years that followed. It happened slowly, it happened ever so slyly… and it took a shamefully long time before I noticed:
Some of my dearest friends, the ones I’d loved for decades, the ones I used to hang out with on a Saturday night or call on a random Thursday (without fear of disturbing them because I knew exactly what they had planned that day), well, we lost touch. I mean, real touch. I see the little bits of airbrushed information they choose to share on Facebook. But their day to day triumphs and struggles … I’m missing those.
Did we all get so busy with our marriages and children and careers that we lost each other? Or did I allow social media to feed my inner recluse? Did I just stop calling, even though I never stopped caring?
I have a birthday coming up, and it’s a big one. Maybe it’s the nature of the birthday beast that one becomes introspective. Birthdays are always a sensitive time for me. They’re a time of gratitude for living another year, a time of life evaluation, and a time I’m likely to weep for no apparent reason.
It’s a beautiful life. I have my family, I have a writing career that’s taking off, I have a roof over my head and food on my table and my children’s laughter to keep me sane. But right now I’m missing some old friends. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. And if you’re reading this, I hope you know I still care.
xo S.M. Freedman