As I do every year at this time, I sent an email this morning wishing a friend a happy birthday.
Her birthday is easy enough to remember, given that it’s four days after my brother’s and exactly one month after mine. Otherwise, there’s no chance I’d remember.
The email didn’t bounce back, so she must have the same email address, and if she gets back to me, it’ll probably be our only conversation until I send an email a year from now.
We met as interns at WAMC, her as an undergrad, me in my second year of grad school, and our friendship easily grew outside and lasted years beyond the radio station.
I even introduced her to perhaps the only political figure she has ever liked — I knew of him from work — at a July 4 celebration.
And then, for some reason, we lost touch other than those annual emails.
There wasn’t any falling out — that at least might be an interesting story, although I doubt I’d be telling it here — but instead the kind of natural drifting apart that happens sometimes.
But there’s still no good reason, especially since we don’t live all that far apart. Strangely enough, we’ve never exchanged phone numbers in the annual birthday emails, but at a minimum … we still have each other’s email addresses.
One of the reasons, in fact, is actually fairly pathetic.
She’s not on social media.
I think she told me one time that she didn’t want people to know her business, and I haven’t seen any evidence since then that she has changed her mind.
Social media, particularly Facebook, has become so much the default mode for staying in touch that it’s like we don’t know what to do without it.
I’m friends with lots of people on Facebook who I haven’t seen in years — I also follow lots on Twitter and Instagram who I’ve never met, but that’s more typical — but it’s the tether that keeps those relationships together. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t even be worth it.
But social media, particularly Facebook, has become so much the default mode for staying in touch (along with maybe texting, but again, we don’t have each other’s phone numbers) that it’s like we don’t know what to do without it.
So I just hope my friend emails me back soon.