Mobile: The Friend Syndrome

Internet-based social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace) provide opportunities for us to connect with those who – for various reasons – used to be friends but are currently out of touch. Of course, if we have to find them (or they us) there would seem a reason why they are not pre-programmed into our mnemonic contact list.

There are many reasons. We go to school – sometimes different schools. We move from rural to urban, from urban to rural – sometimes different cities, different countries. We change careers, we change ourselves. Sometimes fate has more to say about it than we do.

Sometimes we are just different: the difference happened offstage or was always there in us. In some or many instances, we realize that the friendships which brought us from there to here were stepping stones and not great friendships to begin with.

This all becomes abundantly clear when we enter these online portals: invitations appear from high school ghosts and college classmates. We expect the past to remain fixed and when it's different (or more truthful than we are prepared to face) we begin to question these new-old friendships.

The ass who was your begrudged friend is still an ass (perhaps more accomplished). The self-obsessed are still self-obsessed and not magically cured by our precepts of maturity. True: people change. But that is something we often say in the mirror to comfort ourselves.

The truth is that time solidifies most people's characters. And if they leaned towards behaviour and/or beliefs which repelled us, why then do we expect them to be, in a Disney-esque way, "cured"?

Because we hope for the best, even when we suspect the worst.

[Sent via BlackBerry]


4 Replies to “Mobile: The Friend Syndrome”

  1. The “Mobile” series is an experiment in blogging via my BlackBerry. I found myself on the road too much and on my laptop too little, thus it provides a way for me to blog and also experiment w/ the mobile medium.

  2. There was a time when people lived in tight little communities and had no choice but to never lose contact. I’m grateful to live in a time when I can lose all the contact I want to, even at the cost of “community.” There are clearly reasons those contacts were lost and facebook doesn’t change that, though it clearly gives some the illusion.

  3. Squirrel – I am reminded (all too often) of a book by Doris Lessing (part of the Massey Lectures), called “Prisons We Choose To Live Inside”. I remember it because of one of the main reasons she lists for why she detests socialism: because, to accept that everyone is the same and should be treated equally is to deny the reality that there are people out there who are simply hardwired for violence against their fellow man.

    In her eyes, we either kid ourselves about an equality which is not there or we accept the fact that there need to be, for lack of a better term, necessary elites.

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