I’m incredibly picky about my friends. I don’t have a list of particulars but back in my university days I decided that some people just weren’t worth the time or effort (sorry).
At that time this just meant I had very few friends. Or at least very few close, good friends.
But the ever growing reach of the internet, social networks and my earning a decent wage has expanded my network of good friends, which is lovely, except that a lot of them live far far away. Now this wasn’t unusual back in my university days, I have an awesome friend in Vancouver (and indeed a friend of hers became a friend also) who dates back to pre-email days. But although we have extended our communication to e-mail (one of the only reasons I visited the university computer lab in vacations), and it was she who introduced me to facebook, I am certain we would be closer if the internet had existed in 1999. (Or existed for people like me…)
So here we are now, in an era where you meet people in passing, and you connect with them on facebook, or twitter. And I’m not saying that in and of themselves these facilitate friendships, but I have found that they enable short, nay momentary, meetings to develop into an understanding of shared interests, opinions and values.
Thus developed my friendship with the brilliant writer behind Burlesque Press (check it out… go on), which has in turn led me to meet amazing people whom I have connected with in person, but then have developed relationships with on facebook and twitter.
And then I think about the professional connections I have made through twitter, and the work related messages I have hopefully sent on facebook… and I marvel at the power of this crazy world wide web of connection. And I am ridiculously grateful that it means I have made connections in amazing places like New Orleans, and Seattle, and Washington DC. And then I think about the weird drunken connection I made when I friended a bunch of Juliet Swanns on facebook one night, and one of them turned out to share so so many of my interests and values.
So where does that get me? Well mostly it gets me to a place where my transatlantic friends and I spend way too much time discussing our time machine that enables us to instantaneously leap between cities, with no hours on airplanes, no endless airport air, no queues at immigration or security, no ridiculous fares, and no jetlag. So much so that we have located exit and entry points for our portal.
I am picky about my friends, and I have met new friends in Scotland (though one of them has just moved to London, honestly, what did I do?), but for all that my really really good friends are far away, and some of my most interesting new friends are either equally far away, or even if they are closer, we are somehow unable to find time in the same city at any point, I am so so grateful for all of them (you?), and for the wonders of the internet that enable me to keep up with you and get a window on your world even though we are worlds apart.
I will keep working on that time machine though – especially now the New Orleans portal is in a tree house…