Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friends Indeed

Modern technologies like social networking and e-mail make it so easy when you need a little help from or want to help out a friend…via a referral, an answer to a question, get people to attend an event, buy a book or hire you for a project. And they make it easy to reconnect or stay connected. In seconds you can message or text friends you’ve known for years and those you just added.

Remember the old days, even back in the early 90’s, when you’d have to phone everyone on your list? What about the days before answering machines…you’d have to call back if your friend didn’t pick up. The power of social networking still existed, but took a little more effort to utilize. When I was in college, I needed a long gown for a chorus concert. We usually wore black, but for some reason we were told to wear pastels. I walked the halls of my sorority house, and within 15 minutes had 10 dresses to choose from.

Some people you don’t spend time with or talk to as often as you used to, but when something brings you back in contact --from a friending on Facebook to a chance meeting at an event-- the connection and understanding are still there. You pick up right where you left off, wonder why you hadn’t communicated more frequently, and look forward to continuing your friendship.

For example, a recent FB request for information led to great responses within hours, and a couple of those sparked interesting e-conversations. And it occurred to me that someone I hadn’t talked to in more than ten years might be able to help with one of my books. Via a FB message, I got what I needed. We e-chatted and are in touch again.

The key is to enjoy and make the most of social networking without spending so much time e-chatting and commenting that it becomes a time suck keeping you from being productive. The wonders of the Internet make it far easier than it used to be to stay in touch with friends near and far. You never know when people will come into your life or how you can support each other.

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