I grew up in Buffalo, went to college in Geneseo, and now live in Rochester. I’ve been on adventures and attended conferences that have connected me with people from all over the country and the world. It’s awesome.
Without technology, I would lose most of those connections. No phone to call friends across the country, can’t shoot someone an email wishing them luck on their first day at the new job, and can’t check Facebook to see where an old friend is living now. Technology keeps me connected, but it also disconnects me.
Now, because of technology, what we consider “friendship” has changed. 10 years ago I would have described my best friends as those that were closest to me – the ones in my classes or who lived right around the corner. Granted, at 13 I hadn’t yet understood how big the world is, but I didn’t rely on technology nearly as much as I do now. Once friends moved away, they moved out of my life, and we hardly kept in touch. Now, I have 1,4oo friends on Facebook – but really, who are my friends?
As I grow up and move on and eventually out of Rochester, technology will become my crutch for relationship maintenance. Sending a “hey, how are you?” text message, or calling just to say hi are going to be the ways that I keep those who are important to me close. Growing up, I’ve learned that the people who are the most important are the ones I fight to stay in touch with, but I don’t realize who those people are until we’re physically separated. It feels strange, but I’m going to depend on technology more than I’d like to as time goes on.
Then, sometimes, I get lucky. I meet the person who I never feel like I left, even if it’s been months or years since we’ve communicated. They’re few and far between, but they’re important.
Relationships are important, but maintenance is key. For me, it means random phone calls or text messages, for some it may simply be “until we meet again,” but either way, growing up is determining who to work for, and who to let go.