My husband and I spent the weekend at our lake house with some friends we’ve known for more than 40 years. We rented a condo from them when we lived in California and had so many adventures taking weekend vacations together – lots of camping and shared meals. They’ve moved back and forth across the country over the years, as have we, but always kept in touch and saw each other from time to time. As we’ve aged, we’ve shared each other’s worries about our children, work, and now the daunting process of growing old. Which got me to thinking about the nature of friendship.

How many truly close friends do you have? Not casual relationships, but people who would travel hours to see you if you were sick or needed help. People who truly know you, and accept you, warts and all, who know your life’s history and can mark the anniversaries. Not many, I’d bet.

In this day of texting, “friending” on Facebook, tweeting, and other ways of communicating without face to face time, how many true friends will our children have? How much less rich will their lives be, how much less solid with the knowledge that there are people outside your family who really care about you?
I’d welcome your thoughts!



16 thoughts on “Friendship”

  1. You’re right, in this day of all-things-tech we make more and more virtual friends. I have a handful of very good friends, but unfortunately some live very far (another country), so traveling to see me, or to help, would be almost an impossibility. Glad you got to spend time with such wonderful, old friends. Sounds like there was lots of warmth to go around.

  2. I have a couple of very good close friends who live nearby and whom I could count on in a pinch. The others, like Silvia’s, live too far away 🙁

    1. Sadly, some of ours are also far away. Times have changed. Used to be everyone stayed pretty much where they grew up, surrounded by family and friends. We consider ourselves lucky that my brother is only an hour+ away.

  3. Actually I’m the only person in my family with ‘virtual friends’! My children (30, 28, 27) are in touch with their ‘real’ friends on social networks, but they are not friendly with people they have not met before. But I agree that the way we relate to our friends is changing. I think social networks offer unique opportunities to meet people you would never meet otherwise, but it’s true also that it’s great to actually see and speak to our friends, even if it’s once a year,,, or less.

    1. This was my re-post of an old blog. I scanned through a ton of them, but this is the one that is still current. I must have posted it right after “chatting” with my daughter on her Facebook page. We do talk on the phone! It’s just I was overwhelmed with the conversations I saw on her page.

  4. It’s interesting that times really are changing. I’m lucky as I had a close friend from school (until she died) that I was in constant communication with and despite living in other countries we would see each other at least once a year, then I have nursing friends and friends from other activities that I am close to. I would also say that some of my virtual friends as I get to know them more I really care about how they are going and although I will probably never meet them there is definitely a connection that is more than just an acquaintance.

  5. I am lucky to have an abundance of friends, but those close and truly deep friendships that traverse time and distance are, indeed, rare. Just a small handful, but they mean the world to me.

  6. I think the next generation has a completely different structure of friendship. It’s hard to say how to separate the truly good friends when social media lets us and the kids stay in touch with so many people. I know that I have the same kind of friends that would do as you describe in your post. But these friendships were developed without social media. Young adults are very loyal to their good friends (that’s my experience with my kids) so I think they will carry the close relationships as they get older. Interesting subject!

    1. My children also have a few very close friends – but I wonder about the youngsters today. Social media has become destructive of society in many respects.

      1. Yes you are right but I’m hopeful that my children will be able to remain friends with people whom they would otherwise lose touch with. It’s not the same though.

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