Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friendship in the the 21st Century

"Winter spring summer or fall....all you got to do is call.....
and I'll be got a friend....."  James Taylor.

Let's talk friendships. In the 70's, songwriter James Taylor sang about calling a friend. Ummm, not so sure many of us do that nowadays. It's the age of texting, tweeting, facebooking (?) to reach our "friends".

And who do we consider our friends these days anyway? Are we throwing that word around too lightly? Shouldn't there be a deep profound meaning behind it? Take Facebook. We call our hundreds of connections "friends", but do they really fall into that category?

So...friendships. I'm thinking we all have some crazy ways we've met our friends. Here's mine:

Story #1: When I was a teen, I went with a girlfriend to a part of a neighboring town my father had warned me to avoid. Poor dad, he meant well. But not only did I meet a wonderful guy who became my best friend, I married him too! (Don't worry, hubby won over dad and they're best friends now.)

Story #2: Met a friend when I was cutting the lawn. A little strange, but what if I tell you I was using a pair of scissors? Back in the 80's, hubby was in the Navy and out to sea. We lived in base housing. Had to keep the lawn neat or be evicted. Didn't own a mower but could borrow a rusty old push mower from the housing office. I managed the lawn ok; problem was the grass around hubby's friend's broken down car he left behind when they were deployed. Enter the scissors. I was using them to cut the grass around the car when I heard "What the hell are you doing?" Looked up to see a lady with a puzzled look. "Um...trimming the lawn?" She tried not to laugh as I sobbed out my story. She'd been watching from across the street at her boyfriend's home and decided to come over to help me. That was the beginning of a long friendship with a girl from Syracuse. Years later we still laughed about how we met.

Story #3: I met another close friend when hubby won a trip back in the 90's to Dubuque, Iowa. Her hubby won the same trip involving Budweiser and playing a game against former big leaguers on the field where "Field of Dreams" was filmed. We had a blast and once we found out we lived only one town away, we vowed to stay in touch when we got home. And to this day, we have. We've gone on to have many more adventures together.

Story #4: My most recent friendships combined my love of music and modern technology. Back in the mid-90's, I fell in love with Collective Soul. I'd buy their music (on cassettes!) and go to their shows. Then about 10 years ago, online forums emerged where fans could connect with other fans. I joined the band's forum. Connected with some great people but many were far away. The internet was bringing us together electronically but not physically. Eventually I met up with some of them at Collective Soul shows. A few have become good friends. As for those long distance fans, I've managed to meet some of them. I flew to Chicago to attend an online friend's birthday weekend celebration and had a fantastic time. Also met a few when I sailed on "The Rock Boat", a floating music festival by an incredible company, "Sixthman". (If you're looking for a fun way to travel, check out the many different types of cruises at Sixthman.)

Ah, the modern miracle of the internet. A tool to make all kinds of friends.

But I'm finding it's harder to make friends as I get older. Everyone seems to be very involved with families, career, etc. and don't seem to have the desire or time to build friendships. I have the time. And the desire. But I'm not making the connections. I've found friends online but many of them live hundreds of miles away. I'd really like to have a larger circle of friends who live close by. What to do? Do you have any suggestions or tips for me?

How did you meet your friends? Are you still friends with your pals from your school days? Would love to hear your stories. Feel free to share!!


  1. Don't you find it interesting explaining to people who aren't involved in online friendships that you can really and truly become quite close to people you meet online? I know I do... my closest friends, the ones I trust most, who understand me best are the ones I met on those old forums. My old school long term "brick and mortar" friends are still my friends but they didn't grow with me the way the folks from the forums did. I even met my boyfriend online. The world has definitely changed and I'm glad it has - it is easier to connect with people you have a commonality with already in place and that's a great foundation to build upon!

  2. i DO get the weird looks when i try to explain my online friends to my family, former coworkers, etc.
    but yeah, some of my closest friends who i have the most in common with came from meeting them online. like you, suzi! i'm so glad some of the online friends live close enough to see on a regular basis (like you suzi!)

  3. I love facebook and miss the few forums I did peruse and interact on. I also regret not being able to meet you and Steve when you came to town. Your mention of family,work and chaos as well as the money to go do what you would really have loved to makes it even sadder that we have to communicate only via facebook these days. I so wish I had just said screw it and came to meet you two.


  4. I miss the old forums, too, Damon. :-(
    I wish we had gotten to meet up with you when we were in Atlanta. But I totally get and work obligations take top priority for us.
    some day, my friend......


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