Time travel

Tuesday 19 July 2011This is nearly 12 years old. Be careful.

I had dinner last night with a woman I haven’t seen in 32 years. We caught up, and she and Susan met, and we had a good time, just like old friends, but with a multi-decade gap. Of course, this was all made possible by the internet, and probably Facebook, I forget.

I realized though that we may be living in an unusual moment, the onset of hyper-connectedness. Will my children ever experience the feeling of re-connecting with someone after dozens of years of silence? Or will their teen-age friends simply remain part of their Facebook/Google+/WhoKnowsWhat social network forever, so that they never quite disconnect in the first place?

Re-connecting feels like finding a lost treasure, something you valued once, and have re-found. If I had stayed tenuously connected through a de-valuing mechanism like ongoing updates in a sea of “friends”, would I have enjoyed last night’s dinner as much? Will my children’s friends become simply a steady background of noise? Or will they keep lasting relationships because the online communities make it easy to keep them?

Time will tell.


I think the bigger problem with relationships that coincidentally reignite is keeping that friendship going. There was a reason, whatever it might have been, that you or I end up losing a friendship over time. As you point out, time will tell if you and your long lost friend are able to keep the friendship current, active and engaging so that it doesn't fade away again and you relive this moment again like groundhog day in another 10 or 20 years time.

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