November 28, 2011

Reflecting on friendships, both old and new

Day 332 of Vintage 365

You know those times when you stop and look back at your schooldays, places you've lived and moved on from, old jobs, or past romances and ponder the many people you’ve known and interacted with day in and day out, yet likely haven't seen or heard from in decades?

I can't help but do this sometimes - it's only natural to wonder about people, even those were weren't that close to you, with whom you spent months or years of your life. Social networking sometimes allows us to connect with these distant faces from our past once more, but there's almost always going to be people who's paths we'll never again cross.

This is - in this day and age, where most people move several times throughout their lives, especially - completely normal. Not even the most active of social butterflies can say they've kept in touch with everyone they've known throughout their lives, and that's totally fine. Some people will be with us until the very end, but others play a role (be it small or large) for a shorter period of time, and that too is completely alright - it's part of the ebb and flow of daily life.

The online world is relatively similar in this regard - perhaps even more so. I often think of people that I had never known in person, yet became very close with online for a spell, who have since faded out of my life. (Knock wood!) I've never had an actual falling out with anybody I meet on the web, it just seems that online friendships often have shorter expiration dates than real world ones.

Sometimes once the topic (whatever it may have been) that drew you together in the first place has been tapped out, you find you have little left to discuss. Other times one party is very busy or unable to get to the computer often and so the pair ends up drifting apart. There are many other reasons, too, of course.

Yet, it struck me the other day how now there are two sets of people now that, some of whom, in the natural progression of 21st century life we'll lose contact with: those offline and those online (many in the latter camp that we may very well never interact with in the offline world).

This thought didn't hit me melancholically, rather quite matter-of-factly. One of those "hey, you know, that's a good point" kind of musings that your brain has over the course of an average day and so I wanted to share it here, as I'd venture to guess I'm not the first person that this notion has struck before.

{An immensely sweet vintage photo by Charles Harris of two young friends in the 1930s. Whenever I look at endearing images like this one, which comes by way of spiralsheep on Flickr, I like to think that the pair stayed in touch and always remained close companions.}


As it's more than a little bit clear at this point that the internet (or whatever future versions of it will evolve) is here to stay, I know for certain that some of the people I correspond with, leave blog comments for, and otherwise connect with online will come and go from my life - as will others I've yet to even meet.

I suppose what primarily sets these people from those in the offline world though, is that many times we never interact, beyond the realm of our keyboards and computer screens with the friends and acquaintances we make online.

This isn't to say that such friendships are are any less valid or important than those in the offline world, not at all, but they - by the this very fact alone - inherently different.

What, you may be asking, got me thinking about this particular topic today? It was actually the fact that in recent weeks I've noticed some wonderful new faces here on Chronically Vintage and also seen a couple of great gals that I hadn't been in contact with for ages reappear again. As such, to visitors and online friends, new and old, alike I say a very warm hello!

Whether you've known me for year or just stopping by, our online journeys have intersected and I for one am very happy about that. Smile


  1. Ohh I loved your post! I have been been pondering the very same thing esp in the past few months. People I have known for 20 yrs have dropped out of my life-not knowing about my shift into the vintage world at all. And I have found a few friends online bc of this shift that are more supportive and honest with me than the people I have known for 20 yrs. Its made me both sad and confused but now I am happy and content. I think whether you see someone face to face or only online its all about effort-how much effort you put into the friendship. I hope to keep the few good friends I have made online for yrs to come bc I consider them blessings and truly sincere and loving people. I think its great to ponder-I do it all the time hehehe Great minds think alike *wink* xox

  2. I started blogging back in 2006, and I have made some very wonderful, solid friendships through the web. While some of those friendships were "seasonal" and are no longer, there are several that have thrived and grown..through email, snail mail, and phone calls. I even had the chance to get together with two of them this past summer.

    I used to really lament "seasonal" friendships, wanting to always be close (relationally, even if not physically) to every friend in my life. I've realized, though, that that is impossible. I mean, how can you be relationally close to hundreds of people. After all, being relationally close requires time and effort. So, I've learned to embrace all friendships for the season that I have them, including the growing friendship I have with you.

    Blessings and hugs,