Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old... or Just Look Them Up on Facebook in 30 Years

I'm addicted to Facebook.

I know I'm not the only one. I can see all my friends constantly update their status with ever more clever and witty comments. I get bombarded with emails to install the latest gizmo that my friends have installed.

I found groups for my elementary school (Bluefield) and summer day camp (Blue Rill). I found people on Facebook that I went to kindergarten with. Kindergarten! That was 30 years ago! These people look old. Some of them are bald. Some are chiropractors. Some both. I have vague memories of playing with these people, running wild through our apartment complex, playing hopscotch until dusk.

I'm excited when I find these people, or they me, and I pore over the few remaining class pictures I have, trying to match the face to the name, the face then to the face now. And we exchange pleasantries, one sentence updates--I'm a food writer in Philadelphia with three kids. You?--and then... that's it.

There's a reason it's been 30 years since we all spoke; we've all grown and changed and moved on. We're not the same people we were at 5. Now most of us have kids who are 5.

Last week in the car, I told Declan that his friend Josh wasn't going to be in his class this year. Declan didn't respond, and when I turned around I saw him sucking his thumb and silently crying. Declan and Josh have been in school together for all of their short school careers--more than 2 years. I'm sure Josh's mom and I will do our best to schedule playdates and possibly joint after-school activities, but soon both Declan and Josh will move on and find new friends. And Declan will struggle to remember exactly who Josh is...

...until 2038, when they find each other on Facebook: "I'm a pirate in Ireland with 5 kids. You?"

1 comment:

Elaine A. said...

This is SO true! Facebook has been a little of an addiction for me lately too but you are completely right. If I haven't talked to you in 15-20 years why would I really want to start again now?