I have been busy cleaning up this morning. Sweeping, dusting, folding clothes, my mind has been busily searching for the description of what kind of friend I am. Am I a hugging friend? No, but I’m not opposed to giving or receiving hugs (females only). My morning of introspection has led me to this conclusion, I am the absent friend. Loyal? Check. Active Listener? Check. Present? Negative Ghostrider.
In this modern age, the days of present friends has been eradicated under the boots of technology. Visiting your friends is considered old-school. Due to the invention of Face Time, Skype and other technological marvels there is no reason to waste your fossil fuel meeting up to chat with friends and family. It is more convenient to stay at home, plaster a smile on your face and speak with the digital image on the screen. Wherever you may roam, if there is a wifi signal and a cell phone, you can be the “present” friend that you aspire to be without being present!
It may seem that I am anti-technology. You would be hard pressed to think that if you could see my house. All the bells and whistles are on display here the only exception being a tablet. I prefer books to tablets and see no reason to spend a couple hundred bucks on a tablet when I have a laptop. Modern convenience has changed the dynamics of everything. Friendship, relationships, work, medical care, all of it has changed due to modern progression. In the process we have lost an important part of being human.
What am I talking about?
Human interaction is important to the growth of individuals. A child for example, if it is lucky enough not to be aborted, learns from human interaction. Mom and dad play with their child and the baby learns joy. When it makes a mistake, it learns the word no. At every juncture, the child is forming impressions due to human interaction. If it is so important when a child is born, why wouldn’t it be important at every stage of our lives? Technology gives us the false impression that we are present because we see a rectangular image of our friend on our device. We aren’t present, we can’t feel the emotion of a situation because we aren’t there. We see the aftermath, but we weren’t there when the event occurred. Given this tidbit of information, can we truly say that we are a friend?
Distance plays a role, and sometimes, due to distance, you have no choice but to be the absent friend. This is where technology is a benefit in the realm of friendship. If you live within driving distance and you are the absent friend, then maybe its time to change the label on your relationship. Friendships are built on common interest, experiences, and other gooey crap. I am proud to say that most of my friends have been in my life for many, many years. My Army friends have been a solid support structure for me throughout my journey in darkness (we all need someone to insult us and call us derogatory names!) It really comes down to the individual perspective. What do you consider a friend?
P.S. I am thankful for every friend, regardless of how long we have been friends. Your friendship is truly appreciated, and I will attempt to do better with keeping in touch.