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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slipping Away

What would you guess is your ratio for the number of friends you've let slip away vs. the number who have let you slip away? How much has that ratio shifted, if at all, over your adult life? 

For a number of reasons, I've been reflecting on friendship quite a bit lately. After reading an article on friendship in yesterday's NY Times, my reflections got a little darker. I decided to wait to blog about this subject until I had a little more distance. Late today I settled on asking myself the questions above.

I estimate my overall ratio stands at about 2:3. Early in adulthood, I'd put it at 3:1 or so and then during my 30's & 40's it was probably fairly stable (1:1). I attribute most of that stability to my wife, who is better than I at maintaining contact. Over the last 12-15 years, the shift moved the other way; 1:2 is my guess. And in the recent past it seems like I'm being let go quite a bit more than I'm letting go. A few of the people who've let me slip away recently were important enough to me that their loss feels disproportionate - it's possible my overall estimate is off.  Or, it could be my karma given the inattention I gave others in those 3:1 years.

2 comments:

  1. Has technology and social media had any effect? My thought on this is, technology has made our lives so frantic as to outweigh the benefits, while social media has reduced our relationships with real people to connections with ipeople. Like WAV files to mp3's, these ipeople are reduced in richness and complexity. We then communicate with our ipeople in superficial blurbs until, OMG, what's the point? Not real people bonding with real people. I wonder how many friends slip away while their Facebook pages continue to talk on, and on, and on....

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    1. Jim; Thanks for your on-target observation. I hadn't considered the impact of technology at all and maybe you're right. Over the last few years that could have contributed to others letting me slip away. Still no solace for my early adult days when I did the same to others. And back then there the same technology didn't exist so I had little excuse for ignoring my friends aside from being too lazy and self-centered as a young adult.

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