One of my good friends recently moved 1,000 miles away.
If it were 1812 we could rely on spotty mail service to communicate.
If it were 1912 we could rely on the telegraph to send messages.
Since it’s 2012, though, we have countless ways to communicate with each other.
We can text, tweet, Facebook and e-mail. Advances in communication like the telephone now seem obsolete and quaint. Why would I want to call someone when I could just as easily FaceTime or Skype them?
I love the advances that have been made in communication technology.
I love being able to send a mass text to 50 high school students, to disseminate information or to simply ask how their day was.
I love that I now learn about most major news stories from Twitter.
I love that I can look at pictures of my nieces on Facebook and see how they’ve grown and changed in the span of their short lives.
And I now love that 1,000 miles doesn’t seem nearly as far away as it sounds.
A lot of people think that social media are hurting communication and making our interpersonal relationships far less personal. People assume that having hundreds of Facebook friends means that all of our other significant relationships have been watered down. Social media aren’t that powerful, though; they are merely tools and we decide the impact they’re going to have on our lives.
Relationships shouldn’t be built upon a foundation of social media. Tweeting, texting, Facebooking are not the materials for building a strong relationship. They are, however, great tools for supporting and maintaining an existing relationship.
Which is why even though my friend now lives 1,000 miles away, I’m confident we’ll be able to maintain our friendship 140 characters at a time.
How have social media helped you maintain relationships?