F is for… Facebook, FaceTime and friendships far away

One of the truly wonderful aspects about having lived in so many different places is that you have friends who also live in many different places. I have friends who range the world over. They’re scattered from Argentina to Canada, from New Zealand to the USA, and at so many points in between.

I’m fortunate to to share in their lives, their stories, their experiences. I learn from them, laugh with them, cry with them, and solve the world’s problems with them. My understandings of cultures so different from my own have been enriched by them. My love for languages and histories has been stoked by them.

One of the truly terrible aspects of having lived in so many different places is that you have friends who also live in many different places. Getting together for a quick chat and a cup of tea becomes a matter of logistics or luck. Staying in touch with each other’s lives becomes a matter of vigilance and effort.

Social media, has made being actively involved in each other’s lives so much simpler. Sharing photos on Facebook, having conversations over FaceTime, texting on WhatsApp, messaging on Twitter, reading each other’s work on Tumblr or Medium or various blogs has made the distance shrink.

In the moments in my life when I’ve most needed my best friend, I haven’t simply picked up the phone, or driven to her house. My best friend doesn’t live within driving distance, and hasn’t for nearly ten years. Instead, I’ve sent a message on Messenger, or we’ve arranged a Skype call. We’ve laughed, and cried, we’ve boosted each other up, and told each other hard truths that nobody else would tell us, all through the good graces of electronic media.

So this is my ode to social media. For all its ills, for all its exacerbation of anxiety or stress, its also the thread that binds me to so many people I love, all over the world.

 

 

F

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4 thoughts on “F is for… Facebook, FaceTime and friendships far away

  1. Amen to that. For all its flaws this is why I love social media. I have cut down extensively on my time there though, for personal reasons. But I love, simply love, the writers and bloggers and some readers too I’ve found this way. There are some people I wish I didn’t know through SM honestly but it’s been its own learning experience. I’m more wary now but like you say, I have my two am friends and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. *Raises her mocktail to Facebook friends, the ones who really matter, like you*

    • Cheers, my dear! I love my friends, those I’ve never met in person, and those I have. They teach me so much, and make me happier. For that alone, I’m glad for social media — even with the trolls and aggressively irritating.

  2. I agree to that. I love that in spite of the distance, there are folks I can reach out to and their coordinates only through social media. Imagine if SM wasn’t there, calling would have been a costly affair and writing letters would have taken so much time.

  3. So vividly true. My most profound, vulnerable moments recently have actually been a whatsapp message or an email to a friend far away. Has worked for me too.

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