There was a day when maintaining friendships meant typing a letter, sealing it in an envelope, stamping it, and dropping it in the mail. It took some time, and such “snail mail” has become a lost art for most of us. Why?
E-mail. I wonder how technology has affected your friendships? Any changes? Do you have e-mail friends? I sure do. (Sure, weigh in if you think this e-mail business is a bad thing.)
Joseph Epstein’s next chp in Friendship: An Expose deals with “techno-friendships,” about which many of us already know. Epstein canvasses phone friends, mentioning the value of caller ID (I agree) and voice mail (I agree), and then he speaks of e-mail friendships.
Well, it would be foolish of me to go any further in summing up what he says: this blog has generated friendships for me. Some I have met (I began mentioning some names, but there are too many), most I have not. I have renewed friendships with old students (like Bob Robinson and Ken White and David Reeves and I’m just beginning), and have formed new “students” (at least that’s what some of you say to me). I’ve met colleagues at other schools — and again I can’t start mentioning names.
Kris and I now meet readers wherever we go — in Rochester a couple of folks came up from Iowa and it was delightful for me to meet them. Ben and Lisa Pennington at the bookstore … I could go on. In Grand Rapids numerous folks said they were reading the blog — some only lurking. It was very nice to see Ted Gossard again.
There is a kindred spirit between us when we read and converse with one another, even if only electronically. It kind of staggers me at times to hear so many say they read this blog every day, but it has been as much joy for me (and Kris) as it has for you, of that I’m quite sure.