First, I know I have been bad about updating this. It’s on the list – my list of resolutions for the summer and beyond – update this blog, get it going again in a meaningful way.
And maybe this first post back since those first ones when John was born is a bad time to do this, but I need to vent my spleen, and share a far more important resolution.
I resolve to be a better friend. I haven’t been a good friend to several of you, or at least good enough. I’ve been thinking about it, though, and well, bear with me for a minute while I ruminate on how social media is both a boon and a bust for friendships.
When John was born, it was nice to bask in the warm words, the lovely well-wishes that came winging in from everywhere via the Internet. As he’s grown, sharing these things has been a sort of instant brag book. But it’s also allowed me to fall into a trap of just letting my friendships become surface ones. I can like someone’s picture of her children at the park, and pretend that’s the same as touching base and settling in for a nice long chat and catch up. I can make vague plans on Twitter for lunch and never actually have to follow through, because just making plans on Twitter makes it feel like a real friendship.
But it’s not. At least, for me. I used to be this person that remembered birthdays and sent a card or a personal note. When a friend was having a tough time, I called her up or sent her a card to lift her spirits. I’d have her over for dinner or out for a quick drink to let her talk about it – or something else entirely if she was tired of talking about it. But now, I find myself confining my expressions of concern to 140 characters, or worse, simply hitting like on Facebook to a status message.
Part of it, I think, honestly, is because of a world-rocking schism that happened among a certain group of friends. It continues to reverberate. Sometimes, I don’t know where to look, who to talk to, what will make someone uncomfortable. I muddle through, hoping that an offhand comment won’t wound someone. Praying that my discretion and hypervigilant consideration of everyone’s feelings will allow me to not have to choose sides, pick friends. But I know some are already pulling away, and that makes me sad. But I do understand – it’s one of the other glories of social media: It makes it easier to avoid people. Don’t like that they talk to someone else? Unfriend them. Really dislike them? Block them. Easy peasy, simple as pie, and voila, you’ve cleanly and neatly divested yourself of a friend.
I’ve made a lot of friends via social media. Many of you have celebrated milestones with me – from my wedding to even visiting the hospital after John was born. When I look at my DMs lately, I feel wistful – I want to go back to the June 5, 2010, when all my friends and everyone who loved us was in one room together, happy.
So I resolve to be a better friend, you all, if you’ll let me.
And I resolve to be better about this blog, too. One post a day shouldn’t be THAT hard, right?