The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for March 2016

Being there when you’re not actually there

Recently a friend and I had a text conversation about a miscommunication that happened in a group chat with some of our other close friends.

I’m glad that I texted her directly to ask about it because I learned a lot.

We both came to the same conclusion that even with all of the technology in our lives, it’s hard to be there for your friends when you aren’t there geographically or physically. I mean with all of the mobile technology, video conferencing and social media sites, you would think it’s easy to keep close tabs on how friends and family are doing, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

See, I know what Facebook and Instagram are all about. For the most part, friends are sharing the happy moments. Every now and again someone goes on a rant — perfectly acceptable but with limits. No one really shares the nitty gritty about their daily lives on social media. Not only would it not be well received, but it’s too embarrassing.

Okay, well, truth be told, I have a couple of friends who “overshare” and I can tell by the lack of likes, or I guess we’re calling them reactions now, that sometimes they go too far. Heck, I’ve done it once or twice myself, but I can always tell when “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Seriously, I have to stop myself from posting stupid thoughts like, “OMG, I’m cooking fish sticks again… for the third night in a row!” I mean it’s not the worst thing in the world. Right?

I want someone to commiserate. I want people to sigh along with me and say, “Yep, we understand.” The truth is that there’s too much judgement, too much scrutiny, and not enough compassion and understanding because when I post about fish sticks for the third night in a row, well, it’s really not about the fish sticks, is it?

Texting with my friend made me realise that for some reason we’ve adopted that same attitude in our girlfriends group chat. This is a private group chat with 8 of my besties. We all know each other from our college years or shortly thereafter. We all know the dirt, the crumbs, and the back stories of each other’s lives. I mean, there’s really no line we haven’t crossed and there isn’t a favor too big to ask — although the answer might be “hell no!”

These are my just-say-the-word girls, and yet somehow, we’ve adjusted our personal flow and friendships to the formalities of today’s social tech. WTH!

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing Facebook. It’s a lifeline for me living so far away from family and friends now. I get to keep up with the fun and exciting things in their lives, and I’m very grateful for that. However, there’s just no denying the relationship void that sets in with distance; and social media, or really any of today’s technology, won’t fill it.

So far, the only way that I’ve found to be there without actually being there is by making a good old fashioned phone call… but ain’t nobody got time for that! 

jk lol 🙂

Written by Shara

March 8, 2016 at 2:43 am

Posted in Friendship