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You see it everywhere.
People on their cell phones, people on their computers.
"Talking to friends," they say.
But are they, really?
The last time I checked,
"Talking to friends" meant something different.
It meant actually talking.
As in using your mouth to say words and create phrases.
It meant taking time,
As in spending some of your precious waking hours within feet of each other,
(Can you imagine, in the same room?)
Not cramming in some meaningless quip
On your way to your car, or
At your desk, or
In the bathroom, of all places.
It didn't mean penciling them in to your
"Busy schedule"
That somehow included
Twenty minutes of Facebook every couple of hours or
Mindless scrolling while laying in bed until you "felt like moving."
It didn't mean making commitments that you'd later break because
"Something came up" yet again
For the tenth time in a row or
Canceling because you didn't want to put on real clothing.
It meant cocktail parties & music
Where someone actually cooked, and you made an effort to be on time
And everyone interacted without the help of technology.
It meant no judgment
Where you could come over with your hair in curlers for a smoke at 6 in the morning
Before the kids went to school and you left for work.
And even after all of that changed,
It still meant more than it does now.
"Spending time" meant so much more than
Sitting in a circle on the floor all staring at portable screens or
Being completely silent with nothing to share.
It meant discussing your day-to-day,
Not plastering it all over the internet for the world to see,
And then never having anything new to talk about at the dinner table
(Oh that's what that thing is for?)
Because everyone already knows everything about everyone.
It meant late night fast food runs
In a rusty beat up car that you may or may not have cleaned in the last year
And driving along country roads just because you could
Because the music and the conversation was so good it didn't matter where you were going
As long as your friend was right there beside you.
What ever happened to that?
What ever happened to the real connections,
The real relationships,
The real meaning of friendship?
You might have hundreds, even thousands of friends on the internet,
But how many of them are there
When you're down,
When you're out, or
Even when you're just plain sick and need someone to take care of you?
How many of them are there
When you're upset,
When you're broke,
When you have nothing to offer them but your time and your moral support?
And then comes the most important question of all,
Is what part have you played in your relationship,
What have you really offered in the time you have been "friends?"
What do they think of you when you're not there, or
Do they even bother to think of you at all with how little you've ever really said to them?
How many of them value you for those
Crammed in quips and
Penciled in dates and
Last minute cancellations?
How many of them value you for those
Silent nights on the floor
(Not out of comfort and content, but lack of anything to say) and those
Generic birthday "wall posts" and those
Times you invited them over for dinner
(Oh wait, you never did that, did you?)
Just because you felt like cooking?
So I guess at the end of the day,
You should be asking yourself one question, and
One question only, and
That is what have you brought to the table?
You can ask it any way you'd like,
It all boils down to the same thing:
What have you done to make yourself
Valuable in someone else's life?
What have you done to better not only yourself,
But the lives of others?
And what have you done that makes you feel like you can
Expect to be treated so grandly?
What are you going to do
Next week
That will make you valuable to those that don't
Cram in quips,
Pencil you in, or
Cancel last minute?
What are YOU going to bring to the table other than your phone?


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