Isn't it crazy how people who were once part of your daily existence can just fade away?
We can literally spend 40+ hours per week with another human (lots of humans in most cases) for
YEARS or DECADES and with one twist of fate, all of that shared time and history can seem to float away.
Forgotten? Surely not.
Out of sight, out of mind? In this fast paced world, probably.
No bandwidth to maintain a "long-distance" relationship when that
relationship partner no longer parks in your shared parking lot?
I am not sure though.
Family members can live out of town or out of state and we keep up with them, don't we?
Or do we?
Do we actually put the effort in to maintain relationships these days?
Is all of our time spent "liking" and "commenting" on strangers from across the globe?
I'm the first to admit I spend more time singing duets with random strangers on Smule
than I do communicating with my out-of-state family members.
Does that mean I don't care about my extended family?
One could argue that our online friends are more organic than say, those we happen to share DNA
or an office with... I can see that point. But, what about shared history? The office mate and the DNA-sharer
have way more memories with me than the Randoms I have something-in-common-with online.
But is it quantity of memories or quality?
Just because we both attended a work cookout or a family wedding-
does that mean more than shared interests and values with someone
who doesn't "have to" spend time with us?
Ever had someone in your life for just a season?
The season ended for whatever reason: timing, location, circumstance.
You and the other person knew it was a season, so you felt some closure.
If you ever see that person again, awesome, what a pleasant surprise.
If you don't, no worries, all is well.
Perhaps we should all view each relationship we have as seasonal.
An at-will partnership. It can end at any time.
That way when our phone doesn't ding or our mailbox remains empty, we are not disappointed.
We will know and understand that these are just the ways of 2022.
No one attaches.
After all, there are millions of other shiny dots on the palm-sized demon calling each of our names.
Faces we may never see in person. Voices we may never hear in real-time.
Skin we may never touch. Meals we may never share.
But let us not forget, those "relationships" end too!
Accounts are hacked or closed. Real Life occasionally happens to our online friends
as well and they may not be available to us.
I guess I just get sad when I think about today's world for my kids.
How do they know what's real and what's not when it comes to friendship (or even family)?
There used to be something to be said for shared zip codes and shared uniforms.
Quantity of memories somehow added up to some quality of memories.
Now it's all a game of chance. Some people stick with us and most don't.
Loyalty? Loyalty seems to happen more for brands than it does for us as individuals.
And these are the rambling thoughts of a Midlife GenX woman raising sons
ranging from pre-puberty to engaged.
I want my kids to call and check on me when I am old.
I want them to have friends that would come help them in the middle of the night.
And today's ways of noncommittal BS (even amongst us grown folk) have me worried.
What are we modeling for these kids?
One day at a time.