Friendships come and go and if you look at your social circle right now it’s probably very different from what it used to be five years ago. That’s understandable. As you and your friends live your lives and travel through different paths, you will naturally lose touch with people that used to be main characters in the play of your life.
What’s not understandable is to let that distance expand unchecked out of laziness or neglect. All friendships matter, regardless of how useful they are to you–besides, in the technological world we live it’s now easier than ever to reach out to old buddies.
“Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” – Epicurus
Moral obligations and self-guilt aside, keeping in touch has tangible benefits for all parties. You never know when one of your old grade school classmates will have an “in” at the hottest online startup or maybe know someone in your chosen profession that could help get a job in the field. However, this shouldn’t be your reason to contact someone, reach out for old time’s sakes!
The Internet has given mankind an incredible ability to learn about the world and touch the lives of its inhabitants from your living room. Whether you score a job, maybe pick up a nice piece of furniture, adopt a pet, or just travel the globe vicariously through a buddy’s Facebook photos, you now have the chance to know so much about someone yet not know them at all.
These are some tips on how to stay in touch:
1) Social Media – At this point I do not need to stress how the integration of social media into everyday life has transformed the ability to make and keep relationships from anywhere. Just a simple “like” or “retweet” will keep you in the background of even your oldest friend’s thoughts, and it offers great conversation topics for the next time you run into each other. It’s so easy to break the ice now! You can rekindle a friendship by simply sending a message saying, “Hey! I saw you went to Spain, what was that like? Remember when [insert funny mutual anecdote]”
2) Hometown Hot Spots – When making the journey back to your old stomping grounds for the holidays or even just a quick visit to your parents, stop by the local watering hole and have a beer or six. You would be amazed at the amount of old faces you’ll see by just passing through. Plus the alcohol usually makes for a pretty good time. I like to message people ‘from the past’ when I go back home so we can commemorate the past, update each other about the present, and maybe make plans for the future.
3) Reaching out – If all else fails and you are simply curious about how someone is doing, message them, send and email, even send a letter! Nothing flatters a person more than knowing you are genuinely interested in their life, which again could lead to any number of beneficial scenarios, or maybe just a great conversation.