28 July 2009

Keeping in Touch

The other day, I swear I saw someone I knew back in college. We had played soccer together, and he was one of my early friends from the dorms, though I am not quite sure how I knew him. At any rate, I was walking across the street, looked up, and there he was. At least I think it was him; I of course didn't say anything.

It got me thinking about losing touch with people, and how the world has changed over the past few years, making it so easy to stay in touch forever.

Unless you got names and phone numbers before you left school, it was hard to keep in touch. I don't even think I knew last names of most people I know, much less how to track them down. Some people had these things called car phones, but not many. The Internet was in its nascent stages...so early that I was told, in no uncertain terms, that we should not use this "Internet" thing for our senior projects because it was full of misinformation. We had email, but Hotmail didn't come around until my senior year, and we all only had our school email.

It is incredible to me how things have changed.

Nowadays, you would add someone immediately to your Facebook or MySpace or Friendster or what have you, and have them there until you defriend them (which I don't think happens unless they're your ex, or someone you dislike...). You have their cell phone number, which most people keep for a long time due to free roaming and all that. Maybe some people do, but I rarely delete phone numbers; then I know who's caling. You know the first/last name, so it is easy to google. Really, it is harder to fall out of touch than to keep in it.

I kind of feel mixed about the whole thing...part of the novelty of the social networking stuff for me is that I suddenly hear from some rando from my past...sometimes they are not people I ever needed to hear from, but more often than not it is someone I am happy to "see." It also seems that suddenly we're all friends, even if we were nothing more than acquaintances in the olden days. But at the same time, I wish we had something like it back in my day so I could have kept in touch with my college buddies (they are harder to find than high school friends).

I do wonder, though, what high school yearbooks say now? Instead of, "stay sweet and cool... K.I.T. and we'll rage this summer," do they now say, "see you on Facebook?"

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