True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable – Dave Tyson Gentry
There was a small change made to Facebook recently, I’m not sure if anyone noticed much, but under Suggestions on the right-hand side of the home screen, it has begun to suggest that I get in contact with my Facebook ‘friends’ who I may not be in contact with that much.
So it’s telling me to send a message to a guy I went to college with. It’s suggesting that I ‘poke’ a girl I met in elementary school who later on in life became a girlfriend, shortly followed by becoming an ex-girlfriend. It wants me to reconnect with a guy I graduated high school with. It’s all a bit jarring, simply because these are specifically people that I don’t have any interest in being back in touch with. It’s hard to say if they’re having the same thoughts or not, I mean, would a message to the guy I was in Scouts with actually lead to anything? A couple friendly ‘this is what I’m up to now’, maybe a suggestion that we get together for a drink, which will quickly be ignored or pushed aside as everyone is always too busy to make the time. For a while, they were close friends of mine, but now that moment has changed and if anything, I would say we’re Facebook friends simply because it’s polite and that’s what you’re “supposed” to do. Collecting people on Facebook like Pokemon.
That likely sounds bad, but I feel pretty confident that I’m not the only one to have these “friend” skeletons in my Facebook closet and now I’m having them presented back to me, front and centre. It’s that embarassing part of my past, those that I’ve lost contact with. That twang of guilt that you’ve let someone slip away. And yet, with two clicks of the mouse, you can peer into their lives and see what they are up to. It’s an odd society that we live in these days.
With that said, the whole situation dovetails perfectly with a book I just finished: Friends Like These by Danny Wallace, a British humourist . The premise is that Wallace is approaching his 30th birthday and so, he goes out to reconnect with his childhood friends. In essence, he hunts them down, knocks on their door and asks them to come out to play. The ultimate reunion tour. His travels take him to Germany, the United States, Australia and China.He goes around the world to track down people that barely remember him, let alone have kept in touch with him. And yet, they all welcome him with open arms.
The over-arcing theme is that, for some reason, some friends are forever. Some friends, you can walk away from, for days, weeks, months and yes, even years and then come back and within minutes, everything will be alright, everything will be comfortable. That has to be that true friendship referred to in the quote above.
Anyway, when I finished it, I told my buddy Matt about it. Which makes sense really because Matt is likely my oldest friend. We went to elementary school together, way back. He moved away after Grade 2, I moved away after Grade 3. So really, there was like three or four years there where we were in any sort of close physical proximity to one another and even then we were too young to really understand the concept of friendship. At that time, people were your friends because you had the same hat or sat near one another in class. Somehow, though, I’m still in regular contact with Matt. Which is pretty cool.