I wonder if technology and social media has forever changed or blurred what it really means to be someone's friend and if future generations will ever know its true meaning. Long before computers, smartphones and Facebook one could count the number of friends they had on just one or two hands, now they number in the hundreds and for some even thousands. Something seems to have gotten lost in all this technology.
I had a friend. For a period in our lives we were inseparable. He sat at my family's dinner table and I sat at his...we were treated like family in each others homes and weren't afraid to sit down and talk for hours with each others parents and family members. We actually took time out of our day to be together. We hung out together, we went places together, we did fun things together, we did stupid things together, we got in trouble together, we laughed together, we cried together, we celebrated together and we confided in each other. We talked face to face...not over a computer or via text messages. We spoke to each other in full complete sentences not in abbreviated text message format. I could hear his voice, see his eyes and the expressions on his face as he could mine. We didn't need emoticons to understand what each was thinking or feeling because we really knew and understood each other. There wasn't a 'like' or dislike button to hit...you simply told the person how you felt about something they did or said. Things we shared, we shared directly with each other, not electronically and simultaneously with 50 other people. We were real friends not virtual friends.
Today I learned of the passing of this friend, one of the dearest friends of my youth. With his passing I am reminded of not only how brief our time together really is but what it really meant and what it really took to be considered someone's friend. There was more to it than just hitting a 'confirm friendship' button on Facebook.
Don't ever lose sight of what it means and what it takes to really be someone's friend.
Rest in peace Joe 'My Friend'