Last weekend I got to spend time with a friend from college. To be specific, she is a friend I know from college, but we were not friends when we were in college. There was no dramatic reason why we were not friends. She was a few years ahead of me. We were in the same theatre group, but we hung out with different people. Then she graduated. I assumed I’d never see her again, but I did see her again.
I saw her a few times when we were both still living in Pittsburgh. Once was the ultimate foot-in-mouth moment when I happened to see her at a concert and asked her about her baby not knowing he had died. If we were to become friends that moment didn’t help.
Years later though I started reading her blog. I don’t remember why or even how I found it.
Then there came social media. Particularly Twitter.
Social media has a bad reputation for being detrimental to interpersonal relationships. Certainly if you are checking your phone all the time it hurts your relationships with the people in the room. Sharing memes and Buzzfeed quizzes may not hurt relationships, but they aren’t likely to help them either. I’ve written cynically about social media before.
Although there is a lot of meaningless filler on social media it does have the power to connect people if they can open up with sincerity. Via social media (mostly Twitter) I have created friendships (true friendships) with people I’ve never met. I’ve reconnected with friends from long ago, and I’ve strengthened relationships with people who had only been acquaintances.
This past weekend someone who was not my college friend, who I’ve only seen in person once in the past decade, made time in her short visit to Chicago to have her family spend an afternoon with my family because of the friendship we have built online.
Social media can be a mind-numbing time suck at times, but it can also do some wonderful things as well.
I can’t guarantee she’ll bring her family to visit, but read Dawn’s blog Red Pen Mama anyway.
RELATED POST: In my old school: Memories of my college theatre
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