Today I spoke to a friend whose voice I haven’t heard for 3 years. It’s not because we lost touch, never met, or they had their tongue removed for selling state secrets (yet).
It’s because since the last time I saw this person, our entire relationship has been based upon email and IM.
It’s bizarre. I consider them a pretty close friend. We talk several times a week. We’re constantly threatening to go into business together on creative side-projects which neither of us have the time for. It’s just, y’know, they’re an IM friend. The same way I have facebook friends and phone friends.
It makes perfect sense that two people will naturally gravitate towards the communication that best suits their relationship. For example, this person and I never have anything particularly important to say to each other, and our conversations are chiefly horrible contests where we see which of us can “cross the line” first. These days said line is somewhere past the horizon. It can take weeks before it’s crossed by either party. It’s the sort of thing that requires more immediacy than txt or email, while still benefiting from the IM pause that gives you more time to think between statements than a phone call. Hence, instant messaging friend.
My point is that technology is wonderful and weird. I was really looking forward to the day when we could finally meet face to face. My plan was to put on a shocked expression and say “What? YOU’RE [name]? Holy shit, I’ve been talking to the wrong person for three years!”. I’m a decent actor, I bet I could pull it off.
But they read my blog. So, hey, there goes that joke.