Friday, July 13, 2012

Into The Continuum: Friendships Past, Present ... and Future

This post is part of the Visions of the Future bloggers network - a group of bloggers inspired by the new TV series Continuum. The one hour police drama tells the story of Kiera Cameron, a regular cop from 65 years in the future who finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver with eight of the most ruthless criminals from the future, known as Liber8, loose in the city. In the collection of blog posts, various writers share their vision of the future and how they would deal with the challenges. Head over to the Continuum website to catch the other posts and learn more about the series.

The future Keira Cameron on Continuum
Barbara: The people behind the hot new TV show, Continuum, asked us to ponder friendship and trust, both present and future. On the surface, this show is a thriller about a police officer who, through a radical terrorist act in 2077, gets transported in time to 2012 and must save her own future. But deep down this is a compelling, believable exploration of how our beliefs, expectations and hopes are also coloured by our times (aka our experiences). They got us thinking: how has modern technology affected our friendships from the past into the present, and how will the dynamics continue to evolve into the future? What do we think the future holds for our closest relationships?

Deb: I had a BFF when I was a very little girl with whom I have remained close to this day. Of course in those days she was, simply, my best friend. We were inseparable. And inseparable in the 50’s and 60’s meant “inseparable”—face to face, voice to voice, heart to heart.

Technology such as it was then, brought people together. If we wanted to listen to music, we played records or the transistor radio and listened to it together. It was a shared thing. The phone was also a wonderful tool for connection with friends but, as was the era, my time was strictly limited by my well-intended parental units. The only other authority figure in my life at that time was the streetlights which would come on midstride, mid-game, stopping cold a good round of “What time is it, Mr. Wolf”?  They were glorious, sweet times and I loved the connection of that period to each of the humans in my life.

I will never forget the day when my best friend and I skipped up the street, singing and holding hands, only to be stopped in our tracks: my house was brandishing a Sold sign on it. Yes, it had been for sale, but in kid world, that sale was never going to happen. It had been weeks, and no bites ... until bang. It is my first ever memory of weeping my guts dry. My best friend and I clung to each other in the hopes that when my parents saw how distraught we were they would rip the Sold sign up and use it for kindling. But as bad as they felt for us, as you can imagine, they were not swayed. It was my first glimpse into the world of adult decisions that were between the adults and not shared. This was not an era for “family sharing” dinners. They had made a grownup decision. Because they were grownups. We were ten.

My friend and I vowed to keep in touch and we did. Our parents did their best and drove us back and forth to each other’s homes. Sometimes, as we got older, we would take the bus. We were a good forty-five minutes from each other, which in those days was like traversing the Cabot Trail from one end to the other. We stayed in touch more or less right through high school, but the “less” started to overtake the “more” as we each forged new friendships and lives. After a while we lost contact altogether. Then in our thirties we ended up working together on a Movie-of-the-Week. The depth of how out of touch we were was illustrated by the fact that we were both shocked to see that the other one had gone into the acting field. We were happy to see each other but, for my part, there was awkwardness and guilt. I can’t speak for my friend but, as lovely as it was to see her, we just didn’t fall back into “it”. We met a few times and it was lovely, but we did not reconnect with those “best friends” of our youth.

Cut to: The internet with all its wily connecting ways! So, suddenly, there we were, my old best friend and I, skipping through cyber space holding hands. As we started to email and Facebook, we found that it brought us back to that comfortable place. Memories were brought forth, photos were shared, and bonds were reformed. The internet had replaced our end-of-the-day conversations with each other on our princess phones. This time we were free of the sound of, “Okay, Missy, off the phone!”  And as it turns out, the internet was doing just what the phone had done. It was making us yearn for each other, for that face-to-face, voice-to-voice connection that we would have the next day. And so we started connecting in person and spending time alone, with our husbands and with our mutual friends.

My old best friend is just one example of the reconnections I have made that have delighted me and brought my past into my future in gentle way. The internet has brought me to a connected place. I know the prevailing thought is that the internet disconnects us, but for me it has been the opposite. It has freed up my time with its shorthand ways to do the things I want to do, and to be there for the people I care about. And if an email seems in any way a call for help, I just pick up the phone and really connect.

But I wonder, will it be that way for a generation of people who never had the intense face-to-face? Will they crave what they have never really known? I like to think they will. We are human after all, with the need for real human contact. Somehow, I think we will instinctively seek it out. We can’t help it.

Barbara: I’ve told you guys before how I struggled to establish true female friendships for a long time, committing instead to my relationship with Phil and being a mom, and not really understanding that platonic friendships took an equally committed approach—one with as concerted efforts in sharing (I was a terrible sharer) as there are in listening (I was a great listener).

Like Deb, I certainly have found that blogging and Facebook and email and everything technology-related has only helped me in my efforts to embrace—and trust—sharing. And it has felt very much like a wild and happy ride embracing this new tech-world. When I think of myself in my 30s and remember being a working mom and recall how I felt back then—utterly in love with my family, and certainly able to have a great time with friends, but somehow, intrinsically, lonely, I want to take my hat off to technology and really celebrate all that it has brought me in terms of connecting with people. Today, I feel more in touch, more “heard”, more a part of the greater fabric. Yet when I consider it, I can’t ignore all the cautionary warnings about what might become of us if we continue to immerse ourselves into this relatively new form of communication.

So, in the spirit of considering my life experiences and thinking forward, here’s a re-cap of what I believe to be the benefits of modern technology so far today: I get to hear from friends I would never otherwise keep up with; I get to meet new friends and like-minded (open-minded) souls from around the world—again, people I would never otherwise meet—I have a forum for my own voice, which is intrinsic to my well-being (call me egotistical, but I want to tell you stories and I want you to hear them, and I want to hear your stories and I want us to talk about them and what they mean to us); through the unflinching honesty of so many others online I have daily opportunities to have my world or personal vision skewed in new directions; I get to live vicariously through many more people; I get to “see the world” in more colours than ever before; the world feels smaller and therefore it feels more possible that we might take more responsibility for it in the future—we have the chance to care more, understand more, relate more, accept more, take less for granted, appreciate more.

But on the other hand, there are also many naysayers. Even optimists bring up legitimate concerns about the future of our relationships if we continue in this artificial world of technology: we might, in fact, care less, understand less, relate less, accept less, take more for granted. Just the other day I read this article lamenting the downfall of eye contact. Katrina Onstad—whose writing I love and respect—bemoaned how, because of our attachment to technology, we are seemingly losing our most vital connector: what and how we see. In fact, I remember being impressed many years ago when I read about a study that discovered that when we listen to others, we are wrong about their true meaning at least 70% of the time! We misinterpret significance, intent, and motivation more often than not. Of course, there’s that other study that tells us that we read people correctly 80% of the time when we subconsciously interpret their body language. So it’s kinda hard to dispute that we need to see each other in order to truly understand each other. Through only writing our reality and not engaging in reality, we have the option to offer only certain, idealized elements of ourselves, to (as Katrina O. says) “curate” our own lives. And also, sometimes we lie (even to ourselves)! I know I’ve been guilty of intellectualizing and then expressing some important aspect of myself only to either change my mind the next day or—more likely—have someone who knows me really well call me out on it and say, “Bullshit!”

So, with these basic parameters on the board (and please add your own here), where might we be in 65 years when it comes to how we communicate in our relationships?

Maybe we’ll be in touch with every single person on the planet. A kind of technological beehive where our community needs outweigh our individual needs, and food and healthcare and environmental safeguards will be distributed accordingly (I’m an optimist). Maybe there will be no borders. Why do we need them, what are we protecting if not our mutual survival? Maybe, in order to sustain our friendships, we will have gone so deeply into technology that we will no longer need the visual cues that were once so imperative to our survival on the savannahs. Maybe the “bullshit” meter will be an automatic part of our daily lives: a scanner in our computers (whatever those will look like then!) that can measure our heart rates and pupil dilations and tell us, “You are way off base with this assumption,” or “Bang on, sister!” We can laugh about it with each other in our virtual coffee klatches (hello, “The Old Middle Ages”). Or maybe we can turn that setting off so that we’re operating not on “absolute-truth-mode” but on “philosophy-aka-‘what-if’-mode”.

Deb: What if at some point in time we have the ability to read each other’s emotions? Not by a glance or a smile, but through the kind of technology that can enable us to detect a quickening pulse or a reddening face! It sure would save time on bad pickup lines. I also wonder about the possibility of body scanners that work as we enter a shoe store or clothing shop, reminding us of what we chose last time and what we might be interested in purchasing today. I remember seeing this in the movie Minority Report and thinking, “Yeah, hell yeah, I’ll take that!” As middle age has crept closer I have found myself fantasizing about what might be available to us in the future and, believe me, it has been a battle in my brain between privacy issues and convenience issues—as I get older, convenience is starting to pull ahead of the pack, I am ashamed to say.

Barbara: So what about trust? Would we trust more or less if we had access to everyone’s emotional state through scanners and readers? We can know someone we love is frustrated, scared, bored and still be shocked and heartbroken if, because of these things, they betray us. Having their emotional states tracked scientifically or communicating in other visual ways won’t preempt us from living with the burdens of loss and pain or with the highs of joy and accomplishment. Technology can’t prevent us from living in the moment, even if that moment looks utterly different 65 years from now than it does in this moment right now. We will still rejoice and trust and celebrate and love. That’s who we are. For feel better or worse.

So what do you see in our future ... of friendship or human relationships in general?

53 comments:

  1. A lot to digest. I think we will always need human contact. For me personally I need realness. I need to look someone in the eye and that will not change I don't think in years to come. I knew I had to meet Barb and Deb and went I went to Toronto it cemented for me their realness. Spending a day with a friend you met through the internet is so rewarding and also fact finding. You meet face to face, you hug, you experience their radiance which can be imagined on the internet but to me it is not real until we meet. Deb and Barb are exactly as I thought they would be. I think devices like face time and skype will always be wanted and needed. I know I have been fooled by some on the internet and when getting to know them, I realize they present themselves very differently in writing that in real time. Some have been amazing and others disappointing. But it makes for great adventure and connections all over the world. I do believe it can lead to real friendships. It has for me. But friendships take real work and to me must include real time talking on the phone or visiting in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree! I wonder how that "real" contact will evolve over the years???

      Delete
  2. Oh, yes I like this topic. First I will jump at the minority report. I liked the idea and the way it showed the future. Indeed it would be easier if you only needed to walk in and be shown things that might fit you and you might like. Although that would take the preassure away from thinking for yourself or need to remember things. I was once told that best way to keep your memory sharp is to not write a shopping list. Walk to the store during the winter time and if you forget something you will have to go back and get it. Soon you will remember what you need.

    The social media is great connector, but I also do believe that it is great devider. When you only have an electronic friendship, you might not be able to handle real people. This in mind what future might be: People will only have few close & real friends and many electronic friends who don't even know the real person. With the real person I mean that people can write something but leave what they think out. The future social media will probably be more on the lines of twitter with the poking and likeing from the facebook. Everyone can share everything and nobody actually talkes and listens to each other.

    I do think that the friendships that are there are really strong and will last for a lifetime. Just because they are so rare. In the social media there will be many friends, but they come and go. Some might be good friends for awhile, but due to the real distance the friendship won't last if connection to the internet is lost. People will probably loose the ability to write with pen and paper in hunder years. Children will be taught how to read and write with computer and communication with school and parents are done via intranet.

    I think that the concentration span will decreas and people will want more things faster. So if we would take someone from the future to this day, they would probably be amazed how people enjoy being outside and how slow everything moves. Also I think that they would find common sense quite interesting as it might be lacking in the future. There is no need for common sense when everything is served ready. Just pick what you want.

    Trust: I think that people would deeply trust those close friends and have a general not so deep trust with others in their lives. But the trust for total stranger would be gone. Nobody would trust or believe in good samaritans. This is basically because the conentration span is so low and people use social media for everything. So to meet a new person they would need to become social friends to accept the help. The more open the world becomes the more protective the individual will become of their own personal family life.

    I think that covers it all that what this topic rammed through my brain. Will add more if I have more ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally love this, Kasku. Such a thought-FULL take. You actually made me wonder a new question I hadn't considered before -- if all our communication is going to be online, which language would be speak? Would it be English because that has become sort of the "bully" language or would it be a mishmash, a la Blade Runner?

      Delete
    2. I think eventually all languages will have evolved into one mishmash language or than there will be maybe two max three languages. The languages might evolve with the social status ie poor wouldn't have the opportunity to use the social media and learn the universal language and they would start using their own language. The spoken language might me closest to English but the written style would have more numbers and short writing.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, numbers and short forms will certainly prosper in our written language!

      Delete
    4. It's alrdy Bcoming sumting that doesn't resemble "correct" spelling and grammar. I correct my daughter's spelling or word usage on-line because it's embarrassing knowing some of my friends can see how poor it is. Then I look her Facebook wall, and all the posts from her friends are written just as poorly. 140 character-limits are going to be the death of the written language as we know it.

      Delete
    5. I agree Dawn, and then add the fact that most online users don't even have english as their first language, so when we are truely one world, the language will be a really big mix.

      Delete
    6. Hi all, Just getting to the part late I'm afraid. I am loving all the comments and real insights and imaginings! Oh for a universal language! Wouldn't that be swell.

      Delete
  3. OMG YOU GIRLS!!! Where do you find these awesome topics !?!??!!?!?!

    I was one of those people who believed internet was hindering actual human connections......until I met you gals! and many more like you. People who loved me, cared about me and trusted me inspite of just being virtually connected so to speak. Ive never had loyal friends when I was a kid, even my "so called" best friend then just used me coz I was very helpful! I found my treasured friends later in high school, we've had our ups and downs lately. But Since I decided to move to Toronto people are flocking in again just to be with me and tell me how much they are gonna miss me when I move to a different and new aspect of my life :)

    And......(Here comes the pep talk)
    Well as you know I live my life with uncontrollable optimism (Ahhh not always). And I choose to believe that any time, any change occurs in our life big or small, it occurs to morph our life into something better. Sometimes we dont see it right away, but everyone has that thing they did gazillion years ago which they regretted then, but now, its an asset! So I believe As long as we trust that things always work out. THEY DO! So in 65 years whether we are all on floaty chairs examining everyone's emotions or We are at Deb's moon Mansion eating.......IDK some really delicious stuff that Colin cooked for us. It doesnt matter because We are MADE of LOVE and we'll always be that to the very core of our being!
    I have actually found info from a friend that the Earth is gonna change this year. And People will find the unconditional love lying inside of them waiting to explore and embrace the world! And honestly I dont think we'll need devices to interpret emotions and by that I mean whether this particular person will be compatible with us or not. (You know I can do it now most of the times, by just listening to my instincts). We have so many hidden abilities from healing to unconditional love, if we all just stopped and looked inside of us we'll find every answer we are looking for. Doesnt matter if its in the past or the future! Ive told ya this before, we already have things like telepathy that help us communicate with our loved ones when we want, on a subtle soul-level, but it does.
    My point in all this jibber-jabber is that As long as WE want connection in a particular way, then it could be through internet or through a big hug....(everybody has their unique preferences)......WE CAN MANIFEST IT! Its up us. It our reality...and we can DAMN WELL CHOOSE WHAT GETS IN IT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As usual, Shalaka, a bright and uplifting take on the future! Certainly, my deep down/non-tech answer to this question is that I also believe we will develop our inner-computers (ie intuition and compassion) just as our outer tech-worlds develop.

      Delete
  4. I have friends that,i,lost contact with when I got out of school. Beacuse of things,like facebook,or cells phones,we stay,more into contact now. I do have say,that although its great to have technology to stay in contact with friends i,have to be honest when i say that some times it does bring up a trust issue. Most of the time i talk to my friends face to face instead of on facebook. I feel like technology brings.a lot of drama some times when it comes to friends and relactionships. I hope thia,makes sence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It totally makes sense, Lyndsie. And I think we've blogged about that here before -- that idea that our intention isn't always perfectly communicated through tech. So I totally get why you would be careful with your deeper stuff.

      Delete
    2. I think Facebook is the worst invention ever for the mindset of teens from jr high through senior year. That whole idea of "relationships" just throws them ALL off. I go into my daughter's FB account, and what's going on sometimes is just unbelievable. Couples *snort* break up because one of them friended someone the other one doesn't like. Or said hi. Hell, a typo can destroy a 'relationship' in that age group.

      THAT'S where I get the chance to talk to my daughter about what a relationship really is. What a friendship really is. Hell, what a FRIEND really is. It isn't who types to you the most. It's who is still there when you turn the computer off. (The mental illness thing throws me off at times, because what I'm teaching her isn't always what I believe myself, but I know it's right. Most of my friendships are on-line, though I have met many of them in person at least once. I want to nurture her comfort with the real world. She's such a social kid.)

      Delete
    3. That is so good that you do that Dawn! I am sure she will learn the difference between an online friend and a friend who is online.

      Delete
  5. I moved around too much to have proper friendships that stood the test of time, which is sad because I never got to have an inseparable BFF. My husband was my best friend before we became romantically entangled, and he still is, but I lament the fact that I don't have a really close girl friend to talk to and confide in... only casual acquaintances.

    The internet definitely helps, as I've made so many friends online who I hope one day to meet. Technology has been my salvation. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, as you may guess by my own story, I TOTALLY relate to this - but in the past tense. When I became aware how much I had painted myself into that no-BFF corner, I made a more conscious effort to overcome that. But it did take a looooong time. And serious awareness. Good luck!

      Delete
  6. I am blessed to have many long term friendships. I have not moved more than 4 miles in any one direction in my life. I work hard at my friendships. I lost my best friend of 42 year to cancer in 1998. I was surprised when people told me they had never had a best friend. That saddens me because having had one I never realized so many didn't. I always have nurtured my friendships and gone out of my way to seek face to face time.I don't think the internet will ever replace the real time, face to face experience of looking into someone's eyes and seeing their soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so lucky, Madge -- but also so committed and conscious of it. That is really wonderful.

      Delete
  7. The question that I find really compelling in this discussion is "Where might we be in 65 years when it comes to how we communicate in our relationships?" I actually have been pondering an offshoot of this query for some time as I have watched how technology has fundamentally altered the way communication is conducted. As for instance, those of us of a certain age speak about reconnecting or establishing new connections via the different platforms. But the generation that follows us has always had these mechanisms and thus, to a large degree, takes everyone from every stage of their lives along with them for the ride. They don't ever lose touch with anyone no matter how tenuous the original bond...they just build their friend's list or increase their followers. Literally, they are 'friends' with almost everyone they interact with during a specific period.
    Most of us have had retained one or two friends from a specific stage...they have their whole first grade class on facebook liking their college grad pics. I wonder, and more from a philosophical perspective than one of judgement, how it will be when life's inevitable hardships visit and their divorces, firings, house losses, etc. are broadcast to the masses...if not by them but by their friends via today's and/or future technologies. Will the instant access prove too much of a good thing...or conversely...will they find some comfort there?

    I was shopping with my 19 year old daughter for stuff for her college flat last night. Every potential acquisition had to be photographed and sent to her room-mates for review and approval. Every photo inspired much electronic 'discussion' and I marveled at the immediacy of it all while feeling slightly irritated that the circle had to be expanded to include all these extra voices...that weren't footing the bill! The yin and the yang I guess..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, of course, your last para just made me howl!! Talk about the most ironic twist on our tech-ubiquity! But your question: "Will the instant access prove too much of a good thing...or conversely...will they find some comfort there?" really made me wonder. I mean, does this hyper-awareness, even if it's a bit shallow, also make us literally "hyper aware", possibly also developing the compassion neurons???

      Delete
    2. Yeah that's an interesting concept and brings up another question. Is the internet impeding their ability to make decisions on their own?

      Delete
  8. I have so many thoughts on this subject. I am on the internet a great deal due to my job, and I feel that my "face to face" or telephone communication skills have suffered from it. Sometimes it is easier to just email than call, and I think you put more effort in to call than an email.
    On the other hand, I have stumbled on to this blog and love it and enjoy everyone's comments and opinions. I feel I made two new friends the day I met Deb and Barb, they were so much fun and so easy to be with. I did feel I already kind of knew them, so it just made the "get together" stronger.
    I recently connected with my grade school friends who I had not seen since High School graduation through the internet and we shared a wonderful reunion. I could go on and on, there are so many angles to this topic, it is just good to be aware of the many sides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! You are a classic example (all of you here on the blog) of possibilities that would never have transpired without modern developments. We, here, are MORE in touch than we would have been without them...

      Delete
  9. This post requires more thought than I have available for a Friday! When we create technology that serves the good of community, we should take action to protect those that it could potentially hurt. Not enough attention on that, methinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I actually couldn't agree more with this. Sorry for the Friday brain freeze, Eileen! But still love your question.

      Delete
  10. What a full post! I've got so many thoughts and ideas on this and am really enjoying everyone's take on it. However seeing as I'm in packing mode with a bunch of guys hammering on my roof while trying to recall how the heck to back a 27 foot trailer into my driveway and not hit the ditch (with either trailer or truck)I'm going to try to be short and succinct in the time I have.

    I think the face-to-face will never end, I think we don't just crave it but need it. Take my oldest daughter, she has grown up in a very technological world thanks to my computer nut of a husband and yet despite that it's the people she see's in person that really matter to her. She texts like mad, she sent over 2000 texts last month alone (thank god for unlimited texting) but she spends as much time with friends if not more then I did as a kid. I think that physical closeness and interaction is something that becomes ingrained as a need when we are all very young children. So unless the under 5 set begins to interact primarily through text and surf the internet (the whole spelling and lack of co-ordination should make this impossible) then humankind will never stop craving those in person moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even though my daughters are older than your kids, Erin, I really see this too. Like garedican says (Annette), our kids have never known a world without it. So their future lives will take this for granted and then some. It'll be interesting to watch!

      Delete
    2. PS good luck with the packing!!

      Delete
  11. What an amazing post! =) Love it!

    Deb: Your story with your old best friend is so sweet, and I love it that you could reconnect because of modern technology!

    I've read some scifi - utopias, where people didn't really leave there homes anymore, but slipped into some kind of suit that was connected to the internet. They were avatars, walking through virtual cities and stuff, and meeting with their friends (I guess they could feel and smell and taste...and maybe detect emotions).

    As much as I love the internet, I don't want this to happen. Or...I don't want this to be the only option to meet friends.

    My best friend and I were inseparable, too. She was born a day after my birthday (same year). She lived just across the street, and we went to school together. We often visited each other (I grew up in the non-internet-world, too :P), talked on the phone, had the same hobbies, went on vacation together... Teachers acted as if we were one person...and then we decided we are two halves of the same being.

    After school, we went to the same university. We saw each other a few times a week...she would visit me on my birthday, and I would visit her (since our birthdays are at Christmas...we didn't celebrate with friends, but always saw each other). But we couldn't talk anymore. I felt awkward being around here. I felt stupid, because she did know what she wanted to do, she found new friends at uni, she had a boyfriend (now husband)...and I had nothing.

    I tried to explain that to her...she seemed to understand (she wanted to take me to a psychiatrist - which was kind of nice...but it was not what I needed)...but we didn't put much effort into our relationship anymore.

    Then I asked myself, if we had been true friends. I know we did lots of things together, but we never talked about serious issues (not like I'm doing that here). All of a sudden that close friendship was superficial. We barely shared real emotions, secrets, thoughts...

    This made me sad...but it made it easier to let her go.

    I still have her as a facebook friend (and I was at her wedding - which was the most awkward moment in my whole life...), but I don't feel the need to contact her. She promised me that we could meet and talk. But she never wrote me again.
    The internet could have made things so much easier...because I love to write things down, I could have written her mails. I could have talked to her, I could have told her about me...but yeah...at least it's a way to find her again, if I ever feel like talking to her again.


    But (hey...there has to be a happy story, too)
    I found a lot of friends because of the internet (I think I said that before - but the internet caught me, when I was falling...the internet became my home, my saviour - I know that sounds weird, but it's true). And since most of my friends live far away...it makes communication easy. And even though I can't visit them whenever I want to, I can look at their pics, I can read what they do, I know how they feel. We can share everything, and I don't want to miss it.
    I try to visit my best friends at least once a year. And trust me, I always feel comfortable being with them. They know me. They don't judge me (like my other real friends did).

    And I'm glad that I can meet them, because real contact is sooooo important. There's nothing better than hugging a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this, Becki. I've been there too: nothing so hard as losing a friend, but then when you realize that you weren't very compatible in the first place, it's not so terrible, is it? I think you are amazing!

      Delete
    2. Becki, I have gone through the same thing with a friend. We were the best of friends until we were about 13, then she changed into someone that I did not understand, someone that was not good for me to be around. And I changed too, but I changed in a more positive way. She began to worry more about her looks and social standing in school and I worried, well, about school, classes, that sort of thing. That year I met someone else that I became fast friends with and unfortunately, when we were 17 or 18, she did the same thing mmy other friend did. We came back from a school break and she would no longer speak to me. We didn't fight or anything, but I just wasn't good enough to be her friend anymore, which hurt for about a minute, then I laughed it off.
      I have one friend that I have known since she moved here from Mexico when she was 9 or 10. We have been friends for over 10 years. We went long periods of time without seeing each other, but we can always find something to talk about when we do see each other. She is there for me when I need her and I'm there for her.

      Delete
    3. Ah...thank you Barbara! :D You are amazing, too!

      The thing is...I don't know if we weren't compatible...or if somebody changed. It just fell apart without a real reason at all...but I'm too tired to care about that anymore.

      Oh and Steph: I hate that, when people suddenly change and don't tell you why or what happened. It makes me so angry and sad.

      And your Mexican friend is an awesome friend! =)

      Delete
    4. Yes, she is a great friend!

      Delete
  12. This post will keep me busy until moday for sure! :) I have got to say, I prefer the newer comunications like skype and facebook. I am gonna continute to think about this one some more.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You know, many people (myself included) feel like we can't open up to people quickly in the real world because we're taught to speak only when spoken to (especially as women). On the internet you can put your thoughts out there and see if anyone responds. Maybe no one will respond to you, but you're more likely to feel a connection with someone when you don't have that fear of immediate rejection for speaking up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might be surprised to know that even though I've always been outgoing and am in an outgoing field of work, I harboured this same fear before we attempted the blog. I was sooooo surprised that that fear went away the more I engaged here. Obviously, we're pretty open to "rejection", but putting ourselves out there like this has actually taught me that most people want to "accept", even imperfectly. Good luck!

      Delete
  14. To me, nothing can or ever will replace face-to-face moments with friends. I am thankful for technology, though, because without it, I would not have all of you in my life! I think that people have to learn to balance it all, otherwise we will become a group of people that don't know how to act in real, face-to-face situations. I try to limit myself on the amount of time I spend using technology so that I don't come to depend on it so much. I try not to use it for research, and instead I use this really cool thing called a library! :)
    I have never skyped or used facebook or myspace, but I can understand to benefits of using them. I just prefer to be able to actually hug my friends rather than just typing it.
    Happy Friday the 13th!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVE the library! It's so great you use it. And hugging in real life -- sooo good. Happy 13th to you too!

      Delete
  15. Friends serve different purposes and we are blessed if we have one that does it all. I have had friends for 40+ years who I can talk to about anything (I wear my heart on my mouth and I share). I have no filters usually either. I think as you age (I am 63) you realize that some friends have never asked you a single question about yourself and you realize they are a friend in a different way and you either accept it or reject it depending on your needs. Some of my friend are more superficial and others deeper. Some share amazingly well and other just want to be quiet and listen. Some offer advice and other never give an opinion. I think all friendships can work for you as you need certain things on different days and in different situations. Some friends of mine go to movies with me and try new restaurants. Others share their most intimate details and others just listen if you want to talk. It is rare to find one person who works for all your needs. I love my friends but I see each one for their uniqueness and ability to share what needs to be shared and also keep quiet when it is their turn to listen. I think one must be vulnerable to be able to be a good or great friend and some people just can't handle that so they remain tucked in their own world and are on the internet to prevent going out and actually interacting with someone in real time and in person. That saddens me. You can hide behind a screen but I don't think that is a beneficial quality of the internet and technology. Just my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It is rare to find one person who works for all your needs." So so so true. I also believe that the community engagement that's being offered on the internet can also be a stepping stone to gaining confidence in the real world. So many people are so shy and fear rejection so much that real life engagement can always be difficult. But I do hear you: "hiding behind a screen" can be a vicious circle too...

      Delete
  16. I think the invention of the internet led to the discovery of a whole lot of people we didn't otherwise know existed. Agoraphobes, germaphobes, depressed folks...
    As I became more and more depressed during my high school years, my social circle diminished to NOTHING, and I was in my room all the time when I was home. And I was home a LOT, 'cause I never went out anymore, 'cause there wasn't anyone to go out with anymore.
    (I had a "friend" in high school who told me she'd ask "Mary" if she wanted to go to the movies. If Mary said no, she'd ask "Lisa." She told me I was fourth on the list. I no longer wonder why I gave up on friendship as a concept.)
    (I hope my memory is just looking at the wrong end of a telescope, where my world looks a lot more 'focused,' and that reality was a LITTLE better. That's what this illness does to you. ALL BAD ALL THE TIME.)

    When you give up on the outside world, the electronic world is a saving grace. Reading other people talking about the same feelings I have shows me I'm NOT alone. It's becomes a social network without which I would KNOW I am alone.

    Does this remind anyone else of the "Breakfast Club?"
    "Demented and sad, but social."

    The 'net might not be helping us get out of the house any time soon, but we're less alone inside than we used to be.

    Okay, that's as far as I'm willing to go on a Friday night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I remember those type of friends. One once told me that she can play with me outside the school, but at school she can't because the rest will start picking on her and she doesn't want that. I have a vague memory that I told her that I want all or nothing, that friends in hidden are not what I need.

      Delete
    2. I wish kids could know not to say such things to their friends NOW, because what they say could stay with the friend for years after.

      Delete
    3. Dawn I loved this statement from you-
      The 'net might not be helping us get out of the house any time soon, but we're less alone inside than we used to be.

      Delete
    4. Yes, I really do feel the truth of Dawn's whole point and it's one of the things that makes me love the 'net. We are not alone.

      Delete
    5. Yes! Speaking as someone with a chronic illness, I can absolutely relate to this. I'm forced to spend most of my time at home, more often than not alone, and would honestly be lost without the internet.

      Delete
    6. Same here :)
      See...you're never alone in the internet. :)

      Delete
    7. oh... that really was good!

      Delete
  17. a quick thought . just remember technology is only as good as the people putting information into it .

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.