Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reconnecting Through Facebook

Last week I blogged about the fun and frolicking Facebook has afforded me in recent months. While Battle of the Bands and virtual Christmas trees are enormously entertaining, I can finally see why social networking is so popular. For me personally, the one redeeming aspect of Facebook, beyond the fun and games and endless poking (I know, I keep harping on the poking) is the fact that I have been able to reconnect with a few friends I thought I'd never hear from again. I know I mentioned this in last week's post, but I want to be a little more specific today while discussing this one aspect in which Facebook has enriched my life.

When I was in college I had a friend named Dave. He was a hometown friend rather than a college friend so I saw him during breaks and all summer long. Dave, along with my sister Lyn and I, was a musician, a guitar player. Dave, Lyn and I used to jam a lot, mostly renditions of our favorite songs, or reaaally bad, amateurish "compositions" (I use the term loosely) of our own. Most of the time we would play in our friend Ion's basement. Looking back twenty-two years later, our rendition of the surf classic "Wipeout" wasn't so bad. Hey, at least we didn't do "Stairway to Heaven."

Not long after I joined Facebook in September, I received a Friend request from Dave. He was typing in names of long-lost friends to see if anyone popped up and discovered I was now on Facebook. I have to admit I've done the same thing since joining, and luckily, the old friends I basically cyberstalked weren't offended. We've chatted a few times since reconnecting--twenty-two years is a lot of time to catch up on. It's been great hearing about my friend's life and his family. Dave pokes me every single day. I poke back. He sends Drinks requests often. This is one of the games I just can't stop playing. The more drinks you send and receive, the more drinks are unlocked. The game's goal is to get drunk--in a virtual sense, of course.

This is the beauty of the electronic age. I have been able to correspond with someone I thought I'd never hear from again. Our friendship is conducted entirely electronically. We leave messages on Facebook, write on each other's walls and e-mail occasionally. Contact ranges from a simple comment on a silly status update to long emails where we catch each other up on our lives. We haven't really gotten to the telephone stage yet for some reason. Maybe, after twenty + years, electronic communication is enough. Maybe we'll work our way up to real-life communication. My friend asked me if I was heading down to CT for Christmas. For the first time in 6 years I'm staying here for Christmas. Otherwise, we would have met somewhere in person. I'm sad not to be able to see Dave in person, but for now, "e-communication" as I'll call it, is enough. We check in on each other almost every day. We share photos, joke with each other, reminisce--all online. For now, it's plenty. The internet has brought us back into each other's lives, even if it is in a smaller sense than the friendship we once had. But thanks to Facebook, we're sort of picking up right where we left off. We each have the same sense of humor, same sensibilities. It's nice to know there really was no falling out between us, we just drifted off on our separate lives. It happens. But Dave and I are cool. We'll probably meet up again sometime in the near future. For now, I'm off to Facebook to send him another ornament for his virtual Christmas tree. And poke him.

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