The new world of social media gives those of us who want it the opportunity to keep in touch, or get back in touch with people from earlier stages in our lives. Locating people is fairly simple these days, compared to 30 years ago, when private investigators would be needed.
Some people use these new tools, like Facebook, to get together with old flames, which turns out not to be such a good idea much of the time, as Facebook was mentioned in 42% divorce proceedings a few years ago.
For me, it’s just interesting to see what old friends are up to. I mostly find that I exchange one email with childhood or college buddies, and then just follow them on Facebook.
Monday was an interesting day in that regard. Early in the day I learned that a college friend is about to move to a place in the country. I think she lives in Washington State with her husband. Her mother just died this year – she was in her mid-90’s.
Later in the day I learned that another college friend who had just one month ago moved to a new job in Washington, DC had resigned, and was returning to his previous job in Florida. Tough month.
Then that night, I saw a shocking post from a woman I knew in college. She had married a great guy who was in a lot of classes with me. His name was Ted. They were a really nice couple. She wrote to report that he died of a massive heart attack at age 62. My age. I remember going to a Marx Brothers’ double feature with the two of them. I was a third wheel, but didn’t feel like one.
I haven’t seen Ted since 1976, so I can’t claim to have been his friend. I still feel sorrow for his death, and for his wife’s loss. A loss I wouldn’t have known about without Facebook.
Three college classmates: one moving to the country, one moving back to Florida, one moving to the afterlife. There is probably a conclusion to be drawn, or a moral to the story, but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe this: be sure to spend time and energy with your real-world friends in case they move along sometime soon.