If you were born in the late 70s or early 80s, you really didn’t stand a chance at “normal” relationships. For those like me (I was born in 1979), we spanned multiple “eras” during which culture, values and the foundations of life (e.g. technology) transformed more quickly than most of us could ever have imagined.
- We were born without the internet, mobile phones, even what is considered a standard issue infrared remote control…
- We once used the Post Office as standard practice for sending and receiving communication, phone numbers were 7 digits not 10, and some of us had rotary phones and all knew how to properly answer the household phone…
- Our parents and every adult around us smoked whenever and wherever they wanted to, including in cars with the windows barely cracked, and for the first many years seat belts were worn absolutely NEVER.
Think of the amazing rate of change experienced in the past 30+ years.
Science fiction became reality and then continued to evolve further and faster while we adapted constantly and rarely questioned the necessity of our evolution.
Learning and understanding became one of the things we filled our sought-after free time with, not the task it had once been to generations before who fulfilled educational requirements so they could enter the workforce.
We saw the world collapse in size from the expansive universe we read about in the Encyclopedia Britannica’s our parents purchased from door to door salesmen, and then saw it expand when the differences in our cultures began to create seemingly irreconcilable differences in what we once had thought of as “the human race.” We went from “We Are the World” to “Voices that Care” to country songs about blasting people off the face of the earth.
All of this change influenced the way we interact and relate with people in similarly impactful ways.
I happen to know that I was somewhere around the 700,000th person to ever have a Facebook account (today, 1.23B people use Facebook). I remember signing up for it in Dublin, Ireland after my Irish colleagues told me everyone had Facebook there. In America we were still using Myspace with all its glitter bullshit.
My first friend on Facebook was Rjay Spoon. He died a few years ago at the age of 30.
My friend Brian Westbrook was the seventh person I became friends with. I’m thankful he’s still alive.
My first three posts on Facebook, back when it autopulated “is” were:
Jason is at work. (October 25, 2007 10:43am)
Jason is at home. (October 25, 2007 6:51pm)
Jason is at work. (October 26, 2007 6:58am)
Not a lot has changed even while the world around us has changed massively. Humans change, we evolve, we learn to survive when we have to.
My generation has learned to thrive and be successful in the midst of what might have been back-breaking levels of change for previous generations. And there’s much more ahead.
It doesn’t surprise me in this context that the nature of our relationships with friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, partners – our relationships have taken new forms as well.
One of the stickies on my wall that I’ve written about to some degree but am now going to explore extensively came from my father…the sticky says “Find & Keep the Five” and it is a lesson recorded based on my own father’s life guidance to me.
I was reminded how important this sticky was to me and so this is the first of a few posts on the nature of friendship.
Exploring further became important when I felt compelled to tell a close friend of mine (from age 6) about the nature of faith in my life and how important it was to me.
Exploring became an absolute imperative when I was asked by a close friend (from the age of 19), “Do you have a best friend?”
This all happened yesterday.
I’ve not seen the first friend in over 16 years. I’ve not seen or spoken to the second friend in over 14 years.
Teaser for next post: my answer to the question was no. So was his. And neither of us saw this as a problem.