I’m generally a very introverted and reserved person, and I don’t make friends easily. So I don’t have a whole lot of friends, even when I was still in school. There are a few people I’m close to and who I share mutual interests with, but I don’t have like a “friend group” type thing like a lot of people in college do (probably the result of freshman floors and stuff).
Ever since I graduated. my friends have just kind of been scattered all over the country. One is in med school in Arizona, another is somewhere in the northwest (?), several are still in the Midwest where I went to school (I mean, they have jobs there, or are in grad school). It’s hard to keep in touch, especially since there isn’t really a whole lot to talk about. You can occasionally check in like hey, how your life going? but it’s not really the same when you can hang out with them in person. I definitely plan on at least texting them once in a while (probably). It’s also a little awkward, because most of them have jobs already and I’m still looking, so yeah… kind of awkward.
Since I moved back in with my parents for the time being, I’ve gotten back together with a few close friends from high school, so it was great seeing them again. I’m making sure to reach out and try to make plans on a semi-regular basis. The amount of social interaction I have with people who aren’t my parents has definitely gone down, because I’m not seeing people in classes, or clubs, or lab, or whatever and most of my friends are definitely not within driving distance.
I mean, yeah, that’s where social media comes in. I’m a big proponent of social media actually (I should hope so, considering I did two research projects related to it). It’s great for staying in touch with people who live further away. But even the sense of distance that computer-mediated communication creates is an obstacle, and something you definitely won’t find in face to face interactions. Part of my thesis argues that using emojis can close that distance at least a little bit, but all forms of communication is different, and each has its own pros and cons. So no matter what, instant messaging and social media and the like can never replicate in person interactions. I’m not sure about how it all affects general well-being, but hey. I still have a way to keep in touch with friends. All we need now is the motivation to keep the conversation going, which is the hard part. I don’t really have much of a motivation, but because I know that social interaction is almost always a good thing, I guess I’ll try my best.