It's good to keep contact to people we enjoy while it's hard to actually get together in person, given all our daily demands and the distances.
Social media helps to know: they're there.
It still keeps a life line even if we never traded phone numbers or addresses.
We kindof know 'where they live' within Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Stayfriends, etc.
We want to know that they are doing well.
What if they don't?
What if there is silence on all channels from one person?
When and after how many unsuccessful contact attempt will you get nerveous?
Or do you even notice if someone stops vibrating in the huge electromagnetic pond of everything digital?
The tabu question hits you at some point in time: 'did anything happen to them?'
Last month I learned that one of my most influencial mentors had passed away, taken by cancer some 18 months ago. For the past several years I was planning on visiting him some day so I 'kept in touch' digitally. When I finally made the time to contact him, his wife presented the grave news.
I failed to tell him that I have always felt friendship by and for him while he was my boss for five years in the US and after.
For the past two weeks or so I am trying to reach another friend who turned silent in all social media profiles. I know she has cancer too. I do not have her address or phone number.
We are losing friends from recent and far away past to illness and other causes of death. It is devestating but natural.
We are also losing friends to our digital sub culture though, using Facebook accounts as a proxy to something we keep delaying to god knows when.
When the silence in the social media accounts becomes a deafening certainty that we have failed to live WITH people - there won't be second chances.