Sometimes, I have what I call “WWDWS?” moments — moments I ask myself, “What would Dear Wendy say?” Because, as easy as it may be for me to see what the “right” thing is for other people to do when it comes to their relationships and friendships, it’s not always so easy to see the right move for myself. So, when faced with a personal dilemma, I pretend I’m answering a question from a reader. I did this when I happened to see an important announcement broadcast on a friend’s newsfeed on Facebook recently — an announcement she had not shared with me personally. “That’s weird,” I thought, “We’re close friends. Why am I reading about this on Facebook?” I was tempted to call her out on it, to make the situation about me, but I asked myself, “WWDWS?” and I knew Dear Wendy would be like, “Girl, use this opportunity to reach out to your friend. Let her know you’re thinking of her — try to pave the way for better communication between you.” So, that’s what I did.
Unfortunately, Facebook made me question myself — and my friendships — again a couple weeks later when I decided to share my pregnancy news with some of my close long-distance friends. For most of them, I chose the old fashioned method of calling. Of course, almost everyone let me go to voicemail, so I left messages for them to call me back some time. You guys, no one called me back. Like, a week went by and no one called. Oh, but they were all on Facebook, updating their statuses and tagging pictures and wishing people happy birthday. They had time for all that, but no time to pick up the phone and call me? “WWDWS?” I asked myself again. Because, you know, I was seriously tempted to just post a status update announcing my pregnancy and letting my friends find out that way. Give them a taste of their own medicine.
I still might. I don’t know. Dear Wendy would probably tell me that’s immature, though. She’d probably say I should email them and tell them I have some good news to share and ask when would be a good time to talk on the phone. She’d probably remind me that people are busy and they probably meant to call me back but forgot and because I didn’t make a big deal about talking right away, it was easy for it to slip their minds. And she might even ask me to examine whether my own behavior may be the cause. “Have you been the best friend you could be?” she’d say. “You’ve got to be a good friend if you want friends to be good to you.” Sometimes Dear Wendy is very annoying.
At this point, there are good friends I’ve had for 15 years — friends I’ve seen in the last few months — who don’t know I’m pregnant yet (obviously, I’m assuming they don’t read this site). Two years ago when I got engaged, I don’t remember having such an issue sharing my news in a personal way. Drew proposed on a Friday and by Sunday night, I’d been able to tell all my closest friends the good news on the phone. I called them, they picked up, we talked for a few minutes, done. Or, if they didn’t pick up right away, they called me back within 24 hours. WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH EVERYONE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS? Seriously, why is it now more important to wish your 7th grade debate partner you haven’t seen in 21 years happy birthday than to return your good friend’s phone call?
Am I alone here? Or is this a symptom of a greater cultural issue? Have you found that some of your friendships have suffered in the face of online social networks? Is it harder for you to get people on the phone these days? Do you find out about friends’ big news in their status updates? Please tell me this isn’t just happening to me. And tell me how you’d handle the situation if you were in my shoes. It’s okay if I tell the little Dear Wendy voice in my head who wants me to be the bigger person to shut up, right? Just this once?
BecBoo84 April 13, 2011, 11:09 am
I love WWDWS? Your advice pretty much always is about being the biggest person, which is great in an ideal world, but I’m with you… sometimes you just have to say, “F this. I don’t want to be the bigger person right now. I want to call this person out on their crap!”
And, I would assume that your close friends do read your blog, assuming they know that’s what you do for a living. I know that if I had a close friend with a website such as this, I would certainly check it out every few days.
Anyway, on a final note, I’m sorry none of your friends got back to you. That really does stink, especially when you have news that you’re so excited to share!
MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:55 am
I have to admit… a few of my friends run blogs and I never read them (unless they send me a link saying read this!). Does that make me a bad friend?
Wendy April 13, 2011, 12:02 pm
I always assume my friends do not read my my blogs on a regular basis. I know they’ll check in from time to time just because I’m their friend and they’re showing support or whatever, but by and large, I do not hang out with a blog-reading group of people, and I’m definitely not offended when they don’t read my stuff (I’m far more offended when they don’t return my phone calls!!). That said, I’m always a little shocked when someone I know in person — besides Drew and my parents — references one of my columns or blog posts or whatever. I’m flattered, but I also feel suddenly insecure and vulnerable. I think sometimes I’m only able to write as much and as candidly as I do when I assume no one I know really reads any of it.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 11:10 am
I’m with you. I feel like I’m the only one that picks up the phone sometimes, save for a handful of close friends who text and call me. It seems like the telephone is a dead communication medium, which is sad because I vastly prefer it to chatting or email.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 11:13 am
That said, I know some of my friends are just habitually terrible about calling back. If those friends are like that, then I’d say give them a break and call them back. (Plus, what was your message? Was it, “BIG News!” or “Hey, thought I’d call…”) It doesn’t excuse them not calling you back for a week but if they did know it was something super important, then maybe some of them would have called back?
Also, I’ll feel really terrible if you did leave an urgent call-me-back message and they didn’t return it. Then I’d be far more tempted to be petty.
Wendy April 13, 2011, 11:17 am
No, I left super casual “Hey, let’s catch up some time” messages, so I realize that’s different than, “Oh my God, call me! I have news!” But they all know I was trying to get pregnant, so I felt if I left a message like that, it’d basically be the same as telling their voice mail I was knocked up, which is what I was trying to avoid.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 11:21 am
Hmm. I’d still be slightly offended that they couldn’t call me back a week later 😕 But I’d probably give it one more go before I gave up.
Wendy April 13, 2011, 11:24 am
My best friend thinks it would be funny if I waited to see how long it takes people to get in touch with me. He said, “I’m totally supportive of you not telling them until the baby comes and then sending them a picture and saying, “Surprise! This is what I wanted to tell you six months ago when you didn’t return my phone call.”
MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:30 am
DO IT! Hahaha!
sarolabelle April 13, 2011, 1:04 pm
no, just send a picture of you, drew and the baby, and the cats in front of the Christmas tree and send everyone a card with y’all’s picture on it next year.
honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 1:13 pm
I tell my husband that we shouldn’t tell his mother until well after I get pregnant — like once the kid is in college. He says that doesn’t work, though.
slamy April 14, 2011, 1:06 pm
I love that 🙂
Monica April 17, 2011, 8:01 pm
i always tell myself, that people are not mind readers, and if you left a very casual message chances are they didn’t get what you were trying to do or say… it still sucks that they did’t return the call but still it’s wrong to assume they SHOULD know you had news, i say, call them again, if they don’t pick up and return your call then screw them lol
DramaQueen224 April 13, 2011, 2:36 pm
I think you should pull a “Dear Wendy” and call your friends one more time, this time leaving an “Oh my God, call me! I have news!” (or text them saying to call you when they get a chance, you have news). Whenever I call a friend to catch up, I assume it’s going to take about half an hour and I need to be fairly present in the conversation and it needs to be at a reasonable hour and I have to be in a decent mood so I don’t accidentally spend the whole time bitching. So I can see how your friends might not call you back right away (especially if you’ve been in fairly constant communication). Meanwhile, if someone tells me they have news, I know it doesn’t have to be ideal chatting circumstances and I can call them during my lunch break or on the commute or whenever so we can chat about the news.
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 9:35 pm
Oh, you actually said this way better than I did. I’m so bad about calling people back if there’s not specific news. There’s never a good moment during the week for me – I teach, which I love, but my God I leave work drained and I’m usually in a pretty crabby mood – and usually on the weekend I see the person who called so I get to catch up in person.
I’m actually very good at responding to the text that says “Call me – I have big news!” But calling just to chat? It’s not my thing, and like you said, it’s hard to make that anything but a bitchfest if you’re home after a long day. And then, hey, how did this conversation become all about me and my myriad problems? I hate being that girl.
bessie April 13, 2011, 11:24 pm
Preach! Please, everyone, if you have teacher friends, don’t be offended if they don’t call you back right away.
In general, I don’t love talking on the phone. I love sending e-mails (and seeing people in person when possible, though I do have a lot of long-distance friends) or even old-fashioned letters. I e-mail my friends, they call me back, and we play e-mail/phone tag. And yes, Facebook, I think, has changed that impulse to call. But it is what it is, I guess. We can’t fight the Facebook.
Bottom line is, if one of us contacts the other and says, “I have s/thing I wanted to talk to you about” or “I have news”, then we tend to get back to each other much quicker.
ape escape April 13, 2011, 11:11 am
I think you’re entirely justified in being at least a little upset and/or offended!
Personally, I just moved away from my college town to my home town. Having spent the last four years of my life in a different city, that is where 95% of my friends remain. And keeping in touch with them in anything other than a trivial way is HARD. I see their status updates, and I try to stay in contact (on FB at least) by sharing little links or things I know they’d get a kick out of, since no one calls or calls back. But then no one really responds to those little FB things; no one even texts back, and when I do visit town, it’s hard to get a hold of anyone to catch up face-to-face even though I’m IN TOWN and informed them of the visit in advance…
Sigh. It makes me feel like everyone’s forgotten I ever existed.
Kate April 13, 2011, 11:19 am
@ape…I am assuming you are young (since you recently graduated from college?). I am generalizing here, but I have noticed that many people your age (I am a grad student who is over 10 yrs older than my students) have zero attention span. I see it in class every week and in their communication to me and professors (usually emails that are borderline undecipherable).
I highly doubt it’s you. I would bet it’s them!
Sorry if I offended college age people. I know it’s not all of you. This is based on my personal observation for the last few years (when I started to feel a lot older than my students).
MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:33 am
@ape I’m 25 and I feel the same way… I often feel like my friends have forgotten that I exist… thankfully ever since I got rid of Facebook I’ve been feeling a lot better!
ape escape April 13, 2011, 11:46 am
Ha. Yeah, I’m 23, and I get that a lot of our generation is apparently that way. I guess I’m old fashioned in the sense that I was raised to behave with, and expect in return, things like…oh, I don’t know, common courtesy, and being true to your word, and respect for others, and other craaaazy antiquated stuff like that!
I feel like if I got rid of my FB I’d just feel SUPER disconnected (since I could count the number of “friends” and acquaintances here on less than 2 hands, and they’re just as bad about calling back/making plans as the out-of-towners.)
MissDre April 13, 2011, 12:01 pm
I sort of looked at it as a friendship test. When I disappeared from Facebook, I decided that only the people who really matter are the ones that called/emailed and said “Where did you go?”
Not that the other people don’t like me or I don’t like them, but I’ve been Facebook-free for over 3 months now. If they haven’t contacted me in 3 months, they aren’t all THAT important, are they?
honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 1:15 pm
I got rid of my FB once just to see who would notice and suddenly people I hadn’t heard from (even really on FB) were calling me because they noticed me missing. Good thing I’ve had the same cell number for 10 years.
Kate April 13, 2011, 11:11 am
I am with you 100%. I say fuck Facebook, too. And fuck “friends” for getting angry when you don’t see a post or play some stupid game when you are supposed to be working or spending time with living, breathing people!
Congratulations on your pregnancy, though!
honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 1:17 pm
I played the games for a little while (like a week) for the competition against my husband but we both got bored very quickly.
Unfortunately I can’t say much about the “when you are supposed to be working”… because I’m on Dear Wendy when I’m at work so I’m just as guilty.
Jess April 13, 2011, 11:15 am
Maybe its a generational thing bc I’m about 10 years younger than Wendy, but I think its seriously just as appropriate and exciting to announce it on facebook, and then just have everyone call you to gush about it. Come to think about it, mass text or facebook is how I’ve found out about almost all my friends engagements. I never really thought about them calling us each one by one. (Would you not be able to talk about it with anyone else until the friend with the news said it was okay? How would you know whose heard yet? Seems complicated)
What usually happens with my friends is someone will post their big news on FB, and then everyone starts calling them frantically to do the OMG, details/congratudlations/omg thing! I think its just as cute and exciting and special!
BecBoo84 April 13, 2011, 11:20 am
I agree that it could be partially a generational thing, because I’m in my mid-twenties and agree that fb is the medium in which most big information is shared. However, I would still make a point to tell my BFFs something over the phone first, and I would expect them to do the same.
thyme April 13, 2011, 5:56 pm
Totally agree. However, people who do not return phone calls within a week are not behaving like BFFs. I think Wendy should just go ahead and post it on FB, and if anyone gets offended that they didn’t hear it in person, all she has to say is, “I tried to call you and tell you, but you never called me back!”
Jess April 13, 2011, 11:35 am
About facebook affecting friendships:
I think it only helps. The friends I had from high school who DON’T have facebook are the ones I haven’t been in touch with for years. And I always think, if only I had facebook when I was a kid then my camp friends and I would all still be in touch.
When my first boyfriend left the US for Germany (his home country) the main way we kept in touch was letters! And emails, but this was before skype and talking on the phone just wasn’t economical. That relationship didn’t last long.
I met my current boyfriend 2 summers ago when he was in the US on vacation. He got back in touch with his old BFF (the guy who introduced us) through facebook. Before he signed up for facebook they had only been talking once or twice a year, and bc of facebook that level of communication increased to weekly/daily and he decided to make his summer vacation in the US that year. After we met, my boyfriend and I kept in touch through facebook and skype, and look, here I sit now in Europe in our apartment 🙂
In fact I made him a scrap book for our anniversary and after the “How we met” pages is a page with the Facebook icon, and the Skype icon! So, as you can see facebook has been vital to my current happiness 🙂
Anastasiachs April 13, 2011, 1:26 pm
I’m not sure it’s a generational thing. I’m 22 and I would never announce anything major (pregnancy, grad school, engagement, hell, even a relationship) with out telling all my good friends in person (or on the phone) first, and almost all of my friends agree with me. In fact, I’ve had this discussion with a few of my friends about “when they get engaged” and I’ve made it clear that expect a phone call, and their response is “Well duh!”.
To be honest, I don’t even know if my friends and I use facebook correctly. Most of the time we just post links back and forth that we think other people would enjoy, almost everything personal is by phone calls, emails, texts, or IM.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 1:55 pm
Anastasiachs, that’s how I use facebook and I’m 23. I don’t post anything super-important on it, just things I find amusing so in that way it’s just become a standardized mini blog.
Holly April 13, 2011, 3:15 pm
I don’t think it’s appropriate to announce on facebook if you haven’t told your best friends yet – and her long distance friends, I feel, fit into that category. Facebook, to me, is the medium you use to announce to all of your acquaintances and casual friends because calling all of /them/ up would be tedious. However, if you’ve been close with them in the past, one on one notification is best, ESPECIALLY if you want to rekindle the friendship you had. This is an opportune time to get closer to those people, and you lose that by putting it on facebook. People want to feel special, and they lose out on that otherwise. It’s a different situation because of the closeness involved, but I used to have fights with my ex-boyfriend when he would announce important things on facebook first without calling me, such as that he was going on a trip to Alaska or started a new job. Wendy, you mentioned how WWDWS? comes into your mind, and she has always chastised the person who didn’t try to be mature about these moments.
Wendy April 13, 2011, 3:24 pm
I know! That’s why I think DW is very annoying sometimes! 😉
Spark April 13, 2011, 10:12 pm
I totally agree, Jess. I’m 25 and I think it’s perfectly appropriate to post it on facebook. Sure, call your friends too, but facebook is appropriate.
kdog April 13, 2011, 11:15 am
I’m not on Facebook, largely because I prefer to share information directly with my close friends, which I think is what you really want here. I totally get wanting to post your announcement out of frustration, but then the responses will be via facebook as well and I think you probably want that real-person interaction and excitement, right? I would try calling (or maybe texting) again and say you have big news that you would like to share over the phone just so they’re clear it’s not a random “hey how’s it goin” kind of a call. It’s a whole ‘nother thing then to deal with the emotions regarding those people who don’t get back to you, but I’d wait and deal with that later. And at that stage I wouldn’t worry too much about WWDWS and just be pissed if you want to.
cmarie April 13, 2011, 11:20 am
I feel you Wendy. When I lived away from my family the only way I knew what was going on is if I checked their Facebook. My biggest peeve is texting though. I swear, I never actually talk on the phone anymore, it’s all texting. Seriously, is it that much harder to call and talk to me than it is to peck out lol, and idk on your phone? It’s one thing to let distant friend, acquaintances know important news by Facebook, but close friends should always get a phone call.
Desiree April 13, 2011, 11:20 am
I have to text to get through to people. Calls just don’t work as well. Most of my friends have conflicting schedules, so texting is more efficient. I can”t imagine not returning a call when someone leaves a voicemail, though. To me, the voicemail signals “I actually need to hear back from you.” It is more formal.
Fairhaired Child April 13, 2011, 9:31 pm
I agree with this. Though I find it annoying when I call some of my friends and they wont answer, but they’ll send me a text response when I text them 30 minutes later. I’ll ask what they are doing and they’ll be like “oh nm just bored” … well then why didnt you answer when I called so we can have a normal convo instead of splitting it through texts? >.<
Texting is efficient for small things or can come before a call like "hey when you get a free moment I want to chit chat so call me!". But, when I didnt have a text plan in highschool it would annoy the crap out of me when I would learn of things later and people would be like "oh well I texted you" .. "cool.. but you guys know that I dont have a text plan and have texts blocked so i dont get dumb ones that jack up my phone bill… so why didnt you call" "oh yeah.. sorry"
But now i've fallen into the "mostly text instead of call" mind set, and I dont usually call people back when I miss calls UNLESS they leave a voicemail which does mean "oh they took the time to leave me a message so they must really want to talk". My boyfriend hates texting and at first it was kinda awkard to talk a lot on the phone but now I really enjoy it and like that he takes the time to focus on "just me" instead of sending a one-liner text. Now he texts a little bit more but its because he found out how to do picture messages and also because since we live together now I'll send him a "please pick up milk for me on the way home" kinda things.
lemongrass April 13, 2011, 11:22 am
I’m with you for sure! Sometimes I wonder why I even have a landline. But then I remember how expensive it is to call long distance on a cell phone.
Anyways, I say, fuck em! Unexcept for a BFF you really want to tell on the phone, I say status update. If anyone gets all huffy about you can tell them that its their fault they never called you back. Likely no one will though. I suspect they will all be way too happy for you and anyone who might be offended will remember your voicemail and think twice about not calling you back.
Also, congrats! I’m excited for you!
sarolabelle April 13, 2011, 11:42 am
I have free calls anywhere in the country for $50 a month on my cell.
lemongrass April 13, 2011, 11:54 am
I live in Canada. Cell phone prices are ridiculously high here.
MissDre April 13, 2011, 12:03 pm
@lemongrass: For real! I can’t seem to get mine below $80/mo no matter what I do! I used to work for an American cell phone company, my whole team was so friggin jealous of the deals they get there.
LolaBeans April 13, 2011, 11:24 am
I tend to call peoIf my closest friends announced an engagement or pregnancy without you know, telling me over the phone, i would probably be hurt…..
But Wendy, what if you called them one more time expressing it’s important, see if they call you back. If not, maybe announce over facebook?
That’s probably what I would do in any case.
LolaBeans April 13, 2011, 11:33 am
what the heck. what’s peolf. lol. wow… spelling error.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 11:25 am
Related Question to everyone: If you prefer one medium for communication with your friends, why do you prefer it? Choices are IM/Facebook chat, texting, email, phone and other. I’m asking this question because I can’t relate at all to why people prefer to have full conversations in text format.
I like the phone because I can hear their voice, which delivers a lot more tone and information than if I’m discussing something over text. Also, it’s a lot faster than anything else but requires more attention and a quiet room or space outside.
Chatting is my second choice because I know if someone’s online they’re 90% more likely to be in the house and available …but some friends I know chat by responding only once every 10 minutes and I hate that.
Kate April 13, 2011, 11:29 am
I like the phone, too, for tone and it’s like talking in person. I also like email. Texting is good for a very quick message. I don’t really like chatting as much because of the lag in typing. I find it annoying and I end repeating myself.
elisabeth April 13, 2011, 11:56 am
If I have to pick electronically, I’ll go for email or instant messaging over the telephone or text any day. I’m well-spoken in type, and my fingers move faster on a keyboard than on my phone. And I do include facebook messages under my “email” preference – thoughtful type.
Coming from a 23 year old, so take it as you will.
And I totally agree that those who send IMs 10 minutes apart are annoying, and usually I just stop replying back!
Amy April 13, 2011, 12:07 pm
I like the phone… I get quickly annoyed at text conversations and just pick up the phone and call after 3 or 4 back and forth messages. But I’m 31. I just made the cutoff for Generation X – and I see a big difference between people my age and those just a few years younger. Everyone that I worked with probably got email address at the same time – I was a junior in college when I opened a hotmail account, some of the people I work with were in junior high or grade school at that time – I think that has a lot to do with it.
Side note – I’m recently back in the single game – I don’t like it when men text me rather than call. Do I just need to get over this? Last time I dated I didn’t even have a cell phone – so the technology and dating mix is a new to me.
And Wendy – I would be hurt if I found out big news from my main girl friends over facebook – but we make it a priority to talk. We all happen to feel the same way about facebook though – we like to keep in touch with distant friends – but it’s not our mode of communication with those that are close to us.
Congratulations on the baby – So very excited for you. I hope the rest of the pregnancy is uneventful and great.
Kate April 13, 2011, 12:45 pm
I would say yes to the texting thing. It’s just more common, annoying as it it.
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 1:30 pm
It’s nothing personal, and especially when you’re first dating it shouldn’t be something that should make you automatically rule a guy out. But voice your concern after a couple of dates, and if he’s not willing to call at least some of the time, then yeah, I’d forget him.
Amy April 13, 2011, 1:43 pm
That’s what I have gathered – just not a big fan of it. Thanks.
Fairhaired Child April 13, 2011, 9:43 pm
Its annoying if they ONLY communicate through text. But for some people its hard to find things to talk about first in the relationship. My boyfriend made it very clear when we first dated that he hated texting and that if I wanted to hear from him or get a hold of him I actually had to call him. At first it was a little weird, because I had fallen back to rely so much on texting, but then I really perferred it and felt like we got to know each other better. We are both a little odd, so during the lapses in what to talk about we would ask random questions (we started out LDR) like “are you a serial rapist.. whats your favorite food..” etc very wide range and strange questions.
I find it acceptable if they text now and then to start a conversation like “hey what you up to” and then you can be like “nothing I’m free to talk if you want to call me” and then start a phone call conversation, but if they manage everything (including date details) through text then yeah voice your annoyance at it and dont let them get away with only text. If they really want a relationship then they will “get over it” like I did with my boyfriend.
Firegirl32 April 13, 2011, 12:19 pm
Text. 100%. I am on the phone ALL DAY at work. The last thing I want to do is talk on the phone when I’m not here. My BF and I (of 2+ years) only text. We’ve only talked on the phone 3 times. And before you think we’re all young and that’s how it’s done…I’m 34 and he’s 41. We have contact pretty much all day. Like I know, right now, that 7 out of the 8 pea plants we started as seeds have broken ground, but only 2 of the beans have. If we waited to talk until after work, I’m sure that wouldn’t be on the convo list. And I’m excited about the seedlings! 🙂
honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 1:23 pm
Do I have to pick one? I like the phone for the people I am really close to, especially because we are spread across the country now, so its nice to actually hear them. Second I like texting because its quick and easy and if one person or the other just wants to get in a quick “hey how are you” or “i picked up a new movie today and it was good so you should see it”, it doesn’t interfere with time constraints. And my sister and I and one of my best friends and I text randomly throughout the evening almost every evening just as we get a chance. I have a feeling all of our husbands would be mad if we starting having conversations that lasted all night every night.
applescruff April 13, 2011, 3:24 pm
Chat. I hate the phone, plus my job is talking to people. I want to stay in contact with my friends, but sometimes at the end of the day I need to just not hear voices for a while. I also just have an aversion to the phone. BUT, if it were big news from a very close friend (engagement, pregnancy, etc) I would expect a phone call, and like someone else said, if they left a voicemail I would know that meant they actually needed me to call back.
Caroline April 13, 2011, 4:32 pm
I prefer texting or chat, but only because it’s difficult for me to understand people on the phone because of my hearing impairment. I would much rather talk to people in person, but texting and chatting works for me. The only people I would call would be either my parents or my boyfriend if a text would take too long. But I also keep in touch with my closest friends through text messages and chatting. We’re all so busy that it’s hard to make time for a phone call, I guess. It is kind of a generational thing, but I think it’s also just a personal preference.
Christy April 14, 2011, 10:09 am
Phone for my close friends (about 7 people), chat for the rest (about 4 more who I talk to regularly). I used to be very uncomfortable on the phone, so I really had to work up to those five. We all live in different cities, so making the effort is important if we’re gonna stay friends.
delilahgem April 14, 2011, 11:20 am
I prefer phone or in person conversations, but sometimes that’s just not feasible. I have one friend who I have conversations via text with, because that’s the thing that works best for OUR friendship. She has a one year old and works part time. I work full time, and we can only really catch up in person approximately once every two months. I still consider her to be one of my closest friends.
My cousin and I email each other on a regular basis and have coffee dates every few months. We live about half an hour away from each other, and there’s a Starbucks in between us. That works.
I’m glad that there are so many ways to connect with people.
Kate April 20, 2011, 11:45 pm
I shamefully admit that I mostly text. It’s not because I’m particularly fond of having conversations via text, but I’m so busy (school plus full time job) that it’s hard to stop and have a phone conversation. Texting allows multi-tasking. So really the only two people I ever talk to on the phone anymore are my mom and my dad. (But I never exactly have big news to share!)
You know what I like? LETTERS. Real ones on nice paper, and if I’m feeling particularly quirky written with a quill and sealed with sealing wax. I’ve had a couple snail-mail friends and it’s just awesome.
MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:27 am
I haven’t read any of them comments yet but WENDY I AM WITH YOU! I deleted my Facebook account on January 1st and I haven’t looked back.
I wondered why NOBODY EVER CALLS ME or emails me or texts to ask how I’m doing. Is it because they don’t really want to be my friend and they don’t care? No, that’s not it… it’s because so many people have a tendency to overshare on Facebook, so people have gotten lazy. They don’t feel the need to call or reach out to their friends, because they can see everything that’s going on in the person’s life in their news feed, and vice versa!
FACEBOOK FRIGGIN SUCKS! In the past, I’ve deleted people that I haven’t spoken in to in AGES. People I NEVER HEAR FROM. And within a week they would re-add me and be all offended that I removed them. I’ve also had people I knew in the past, who I haven’t spoken to in years, add me to Facebook. I accept their request, and then I NEVER HEAR A WORD FROM THEM! Why the hell did you add me if you are not going to even say “Hi how are you?”
Anyway I’m done with it. The people who are most important to me now call, text and email. And I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
That’s my rant. To those of you who love Facebook, that’s totally cool. Do your thing!! It just wasn’t for me anymore.
Kate April 13, 2011, 11:29 am
Wooo! Freedom from FB! I think I will be following you soon…
Chouette April 13, 2011, 11:34 am
Ha ha sorry, I just basically wrote the same thing as you–I guess a lot of people are offended by Facebook behavior! I would quit, but I’m too afraid no one would ever contact me again. So I remain on it, silently hating it.
MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:42 am
That’s what I thought for a long time, but I finally got the courage to permanently delete my account and i’m SO much happier.
Chouette April 13, 2011, 11:45 am
I am envious–I will try to work up my courage!
NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 11:56 am
YES YES YES! I am seriously with you. I like FB to keep up with family and friends, but I end up hiding most people. I unfriended an ex-boyfriend from about 5-6 years ago that I hadn’t talked to in oh at least 3. He got all pissed off that I unfriended him. I didn’t even realize he still used FB, he just used it to e-stalk I guess. I guilt-refriended him. I should have blocked him.
Christy April 14, 2011, 10:11 am
It’s because we like to see how people from our past are doing, even if we don’t want to maintain an active friendship with them. Think of it like going to your high school reunion–you see how people are, but it’s not like you are going to talk to them afterwards.
Chouette April 13, 2011, 11:30 am
I completely agree about Facebook. I think people have really started to use it out of laziness to replace human interaction, and it makes me sad. It can be a great tool for keeping up with people you wouldn’t otherwise be in contact with, but when it comes to good friends there is really a value in having a real-life relationship. That said, I am so sick of making excuses for people who don’t return phone calls. It’s flat out rude. Why should we have to tell ourselves “oh, they’re too busy for me, I’m too demanding”, or “they’re just forgetful, I should lower my expectations down to the floor and be happy with reading their Facebook status updates every 5 seconds”. In the age of cell phones, if someone has time to be constantly updating their Facebook, they have time to call you back. I think they’re being disrespectful. Obviously I have some personal issues with this! /end rant
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Mandy April 13, 2011, 11:33 am
Totally with you.
I have had friends who alerted the world to their pregnancies/engagement announcements over Facebook.
I’m taking a sabbatical from Facebook, because I was sick of getting news from a computer instead of people.
DaisyJorts April 13, 2011, 11:34 am
I used to be TERRIBLE about keeping in touch with people. I did, however, always make it a point to call people back. After I moved home from college (and my friends weren’t a wall away) I made much more effort to call and catch up with people. For awhile, it was even – I call you, you call me, etc. But now I notice that if I don’t make the call or send the text, we wouldn’t talk. And one friend is so far up her bf’s behind, she always forgets to call me back. It’s so annoying! Yet everyone is on facebook all day long.
Facebook is, for me, an easy way to send out invites. I’ll send a group of friends a private message with details with getting together and it’s clear that a response is appreciated, yet one person would say something vague and ignore some of the questions I throw out. The rest will wait a week (while they are updating their statuses and commenting multiple times a day) to respond. It’s infuriating!
DaisyJorts April 13, 2011, 11:40 am
So the point of that rant was, I would be peeved as well Wendy! Especially when it’s big news you have to share. I usually give a friend a day or two after I call them and leave a voicemail, then I’ll shoot them a text saying “hey, did you get my message the other day?” (Because really, no one is THAT busy that they can’t take out 5 minutes to call you back) Facebook is as awesome for staying connected as it is terrible.
cdj0815 April 13, 2011, 11:41 am
For some reason I have not joined Facebook. Most of my friends are on it and have sent me invites in the past. I let them know I am not interested in joining right now. I would rather phone, email, or text them.
I guess I don’t want the temptation of using my sometimes OCD issues to allow me to see something I may take to heart too much. Normally, I am not one to get easily upset for to long. I always try to rationalize it, or see it in the other persons perspective (Wendy I would have felt the same way you did). But needless to say I am not always sucessful doing that, so I tell myself why not leave well enough along.
Vathena April 13, 2011, 11:43 am
Totally understand where you are coming from, Wendy. I agree that news on that order of magnitude ought to be shared in a more personal way whenever possible. Perhaps it is a gray area/generational thing, but I’d be bummed if a close friend didn’t tell me about an engagement/pregnancy/Supreme Court nomination before they also told their lab partner from 7th grade and their kickball buddy’s dog. My now-husband proposed on Christmas Eve, so we had the benefit of being able to share the news with most family members in person, and the rest we called on Christmas Day. I also called the handful of friends I knew would want to hear the news over the phone, and told several more in person over New Year’s. We wanted to make sure that the really important people in our lives had heard it straight from us – plus, something about a life transition just makes me want to reach out to reconnect with people. All that said, I do agree that a message stressing the importance of returning the call might be in order. One of my best friends and I are notoriously bad at returning one another’s calls, but when she left me voice-mails after getting engaged and, later, pregnant, she left funny, singsongy messages: “I have something to teellll youuuuu…” and each time, I knew what the news was, but it didn’t diminish the impact of hearing it from her when I returned the call, promptly!
sarolabelle April 13, 2011, 11:49 am
I would just post the status that you are pregnant. Most people will congratulate you and then say “sorry I haven’t called back”….or they might just call when they see it there to hear the real scoop (how many months, etc). If they don’t do either of those things and simply like the status then you know not to count on them to throw you a baby shower.
Speaking of baby shower. I think us DW folks need to do something on behalf of baby Wendrew. Since I’m sure you will have all the things you need perhaps we could donate money/items to a family that has nothing.
BTW – I never said congrats to you and Drew! Yay baby!
BecBoo84 April 13, 2011, 12:06 pm
Feather April 13, 2011, 11:50 am
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, and blogged about it a few weeks ago. There are many times I think about deactivating my account and just keeping up with me blog, where I know my real friends interact with me.
And as for “WWDWS”, I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep my cool and not post something on Facebook for them to see. If they can’t call you back, then you have no reason to feel badly for posting it on Facebook where they will eventually find out.
Lindsay April 13, 2011, 11:55 am
I don’t think it’s really changed my friendships. Sometimes it takes a while to get a hold of people on the phone, but for me it’s entirely unrelated to social networking. I work a weird schedule, so by the time I’m actually awake and not working at the time that someone else is awake and not working, it’s been a few days. I think it’s more that people jam-pack their schedules and feel like that can’t just sit down and have a conversation.
If someone called me and I never got back to them, I wouldn’t blame them if I found out big news on Facebook. At least they’ll know you tried and that had they called back, they would have found it out over the phone.
jottino April 13, 2011, 11:56 am
NO! You’re not alone in this at all. It’s so annoying. I admit that sometimes I’m terrible with keeping in touch with people, but if I get a missed phone call – WITH a message – I will return it! Facebook has fostered a kind of social laziness.
Last month, I had a business trip to a city where one of my friends lives. I thought it would be nice to see him for lunch, & I thought that since he’s so busy working late hours, but he’s on Facebook every waking moment, I could just send him a quick message to see if he’d be around when I was there.
He never answered.
It made it so awkward. “Maybe he just doesn’t want to see me?” I asked my boyfriend. “Maybe he’s not interested. He’s been on Facebook since then, he’s updated his status dozens of times, so I know he read it. I can’t possibly call him now, it would just be embarrassing.”
So I didn’t see him. A week later, when I had the pictures from my trip up, he commented on the album and said “Oh, I forgot. Sorry!”
So yes. Social laziness. On both sides too, because I could have called him. But the apparent shunning of my email made a call potentially awkward. “Didn’t you see my email? I’m coming to town! …Oh, you did. Oh.”
Jess April 13, 2011, 11:58 am
OH I just wanted to comment about something I saw on some other site about etiquette and texting, and the author of the article posted some quotes from the 1920s or 1910s or something about how the telephone was ruining relationships and how news should be sent via letters! The argument being you can keep letters as momentos.
So yea, i think this is just, you know, progress, the times they are a changin
Jess April 13, 2011, 12:03 pm
Heres part of it:
But in When Old Technologies Were New, author Carolyn Marvin writes that after the telephone arrived in the late 19th century, there were fears it would cause mass exposure of family secrets and allow young people to conduct their social lives without the supervision of their elders—and it did. Back in 1877, the very same New York Times characterized the telephone as having an “atrocious nature.” So, relax, and be assured that someday your children will say to their children, “Where are your manners? Can’t you just text your friends?”
Lucy April 13, 2011, 12:01 pm
It’s not FB. It’s the phone. Ppl don’t want to talk on the phone anymore. I do this myself. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html This NYT article kind of summed it up for me (l even posted it on FB)
Jess April 13, 2011, 12:07 pm
agreed!! but the number 1 thing I hate is listening to voicemails. It takes forever to ring into it, enter your password, then just listen to my mom be like “Jess, it’s me, call me back!” ughhh thats what the missed call log is for!
HmC April 13, 2011, 1:40 pm
Bah haha! My mom, too. She’ll call and leave a rambling message about how the dogs are doing, what she cooked for dinner, the weather etc. I’ve told her numerous times that if she’s just calling to say ‘hi’, she doesn’t have to leave a message and I’ll see her call and call her back pretty quickly. She refuses to absorb this information.
MissDre April 13, 2011, 2:05 pm
Same here. It’s their generation I think… LoL
SpaceySteph April 13, 2011, 10:05 pm
Hah! So true. I don’t want to listen to my voicemail for the same reason. So I’ll get missed calls from my mom and just call her back without checking the VM, but then someone else will call and leave a message and I have to listen to “Hi Stephanieeeee, its your mother. I’m walking the dog and I thought I would call and say hi- Gizmo! no! Don’t eat that!- anyways, things are good. Tonight we’re going to dinner with uncle Cliff….” and because I don’t listen to her rambly messages there’s 5 of them between me and the new message from my friend.
I hate the phone. I prefer any other method of communication. Including handwritten letters.
HmC April 13, 2011, 11:01 pm
I think these crazy mom voicemails are a byproduct of many years of land line answering machines. When they think of a voicemail, they think of hitting one button as they walk in the door and then listening to their loved one’s messages for a few minutes while they take their shoes off and feed the dogs. It just isn’t hardwired into their brains that we need to drop what we’re doing, call our voicemail, enter the code, and listen to their message.
I’m so very glad that there are other moms out there as crazy as mine. Love her to death though!
Wendy April 14, 2011, 8:15 am
My mom doesn’t leave voice mail messages too often because our calls are almost always scheduled (they have to be since we are 6 different time zones apart), but on the rare occasions she does, she’ll leave a long message and then at the end say, “Love, Mom,” like it’s a letter. I find this is one of the most endearing things ever.
MissDre April 14, 2011, 8:53 am
SpaceySteph, my mom does EXACTLY that! She talks until her time runs out and the message gets cut off!
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 12:06 pm
I hardly ever call people back. I hate talking on the phone, and also, between being at work 7:45-5:30, running across town for yoga at 7:30, and getting home around 9:30, when I have a spare moment, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I might text you, because I can do that at the same time that I pluck my eyebrows or do my nails, but quite honestly, I am so out of anything to give by the end of the day that I resent even giving up a half hour to talk to my boyfriend. I talk to people on the weekend, and I do my talking almost exclusively in person.
Also, and this is absolutely just my own hangup, but I post my big news on facebook and actively tell almost no one – my boyfriend, my mom, and my roommate whom I talk to regularly, and others if I happen to run into them – because, quite honestly, I just assume no one really wants to know *that* badly. When I see them, I can tell them. If they’re out of town, I figure it’ll be more convenient for them to contact me when they see the post *if they want* rather than forcing it onto them and taking a chunk out of their valuable time. And when one of my closest friends and her boyfriend got engaged recently, I found out a couple of weeks after the fact because she and I went and got drinks. It was the way I wanted to find out, and it was they way she wanted to tell me – in person, when we got around to it.
I’m not saying you’re being self-centered or anything, but maybe you approach big news differently than your friends. Or maybe their lives are simply insane. Or maybe they really hate talking on the phone. Or maybe they just think you were calling to catch up and they just can’t take the time for a lengthy catch-up session. Or maybe they’re going through a rough patch, and they simply can’t handle hearing someone gush right now. My point is, don’t assume it has anything to do with you.
Amy April 13, 2011, 12:31 pm
That really doesn’t sound like the kind of close friendships that I want. I have 3 women in my “best” circle, probably 6 women in my “close” circle, and a number of women whom I care for but are in a 3rd circle… I can see discussing big news with the 3rd circle like you discussed, but I need more social interaction in my life with my closer friends. I care about their lives and want them to care about mine. We all talk on the phone or get together for coffee, etc. regularly. People have different priorities – but for many people having close friendships is a top priority. The back and forth communication should be a positive experience for both of the friends.
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 12:58 pm
Okay. I mean, that’s great that it works for you – I’d never invalidate the way your friendships work. Mine work a little differently, though.
Amy April 13, 2011, 1:50 pm
Not trying to invalidate your friendships – I’m sorry that my comment came across that way. I think it’s just an example of the whole facebook ruining friendship conversation – people have different expectations and get different things out of their friendships – different strokes for different folks as they say. Who cares how someone else handles their frienships – so long as it’s mutually enjoyable to both friends – that’s all that matters. I enjoy more interaction with my friends, but we also don’t have as hectic of a schedule as you do.
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 3:01 pm
Yeah, we’re all similarly busy, so it makes it easier to not take it personally. Also, I almost never check facebook, nor do the vast majority of my friends. So it’s hard to get hurt about something you may or may not have seen on facebook in the first place from someone who may not have even had time to tell anyone but family.
And it’s also not to say we’re not close. We are all there for each other when it counts, we just have to make the most of the time we have.
maynard April 13, 2011, 12:09 pm
I intentionally stopped going on facebook a couple months ago and facebook emailed me saying “it’s been a whlie since you’ve logged in! you have 3 new messages and 2 event invitation and blah blah.. click here to log in again!”
Like a drug dealer.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 12:16 pm
But you know those 3 messages are just from those 2 events you don’t care to go to 😉
maynard April 13, 2011, 12:49 pm
I know! I still get emails if someone does message me so I’m pretty sure facebook was lying JUST to get me to sign in.
Rachelgrace53 April 13, 2011, 12:40 pm
“Like a drug dealer.”
HAHAHAHAHA. I’ll never see Facebook emails the same way again…
Michele April 13, 2011, 11:15 am
I admit, I am a terrible phone call returner. I might not respond to a “Hey, it’s Wendy, call me,” VM because I hate hate hate talking on the phone, and if I think it’s just to chat, I may not be up for it. (Yes, I know it doesn’t make it right. I just makes it what is.) If you tell me you have something to tell me, I will return that call. I also would not be offended if you texted me the news. But, along with my phone hatred comes my love of text messaging.
I do get annoyed when people who post their engagement news right away, because I can’t help but think that they didn’t take the time to notify people in a more personal manner.
Oh, and congrats on the pregnancy! Yay for babies!
Beckaleigh April 13, 2011, 12:02 pm
I also hate talking on the phone unless its to my husband or mother. If anyone else calls, I send them to VM and more times than not, forget about calling them back. I feel bad for doing it but its hard to make time for a casual phone call when life is moving so fast with my kids and such. I’m definitely a texter, not a talker, hahaha.
When my bff got engaged over the summer, she texted me that she had exciting news and to call her ASAP, and I did.
Spark April 13, 2011, 10:12 pm
I hate talking on the phone too!
denita April 13, 2011, 12:15 pm
I am really bad at returning calls, I often return calls with text messages.
I made sure I sent text messages to my closest friends when I got engaged, I only called my parents…which to some may be too impersonal but my friends know me so it wasn’t taken negatively…after they had the message I spoke to many on the phone. But vague, “call me” messages rarely get calls back. Although FB may be PART of it, email and text messaging seem to have as much to do with it IMO….we just don’t talk to each other as much as society as we used to. Sad, but true.
elisabeth April 13, 2011, 12:26 pm
I still maintain that there’s a generation gap at work between those of us who have (seemingly) meshed Facebook with our lives and those who have not.
But here’s a thought – In regards to the title question, “Is Facebook ruining friendships?” I’ve got to say no. People ruin friendships. Facebook is a social medium. You’ll get out of it what you choose to put into it, or what others choose to put into it. But it’s the people themselves who are dropping the ball and not calling their friends back who need the finger pointed at them, not Facebook itself!
cdjd2614 April 13, 2011, 12:26 pm
First, congrats on the pregnancy, babies are so exciting and very fun!
I finally got rid of my facebook cause I was tired of the bullshit. I think it’s so impersonal to post big news on there and I think a lot of people use it as a cop out so they don’t have to pick up the phone and tell people individually. I’m 22 so I don’t think it’s strictly a generational thing either. If friends can’t return a call then they can stumble upon the information at a later time, whether it be in a conversation with you or in some other form.
Christy April 14, 2011, 9:51 am
You know, sometimes it just gets exhausting telling everyone individually. For example, I’ve been coming out as a lesbian for about nine months now, and there are still people who don’t know. These are real friends who I just don’t talk to a lot. I don’t want the fact that I happen to be gay to be the focus of the conversation. I would like them to know that I am, but it’s definitely not more important than whatever actual reason we’re talking. In this way, facebook is useful because it lets something be a statement of fact rather than a *topic of conversation.* (You have to imagine that said in a big, booming, echoing voice, then the asterisks make more sense.) Then I don’t have to deal with as many *coming out stories,* because once you’ve come out to one person who doesn’t really care but still has questions, you’ve come out to them all.
HmC April 13, 2011, 12:28 pm
People don’t answer phones anymore because they’re so used to communicating with people on their own time only, not anyone else’s. Everyone I know that gets phone calls either ignores their phone completely, or occasionally checks to see who’s calling and only answers if it’s their significant other. And no one checks voicemails.
I think part of this “on my own time only” communication can definitely be attributed to Facebook. Also you can do Facebook at work, in the library, in the coffee shop etc. without disturbing those around you, so there are practical arguments as to why someone may have time for Facebook, but not to return a call that they don’t think is urgent.
I hate Facebook. All the reasons for hating Facebook have already been covered ad nauseam (ie. why do we need to hear about what you ate for breakfast again?!) but I’ll say that to me, it’s just symbolic of rampant narcissism.
TheOtherMe April 13, 2011, 1:40 pm
I am so with you !!
“Fuck Facebook.” has been my opinion since the beginning & I am so happy someone said it !!
I also hate FB, I see the stress it causes my BF’s kids. They are obsessed by all the friend, ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend updates and there seems to be one fight per week because of something someone posted on FB. Then there are family issues on why someone posted something important without telling them first.. etc… makes me sick.
That being said, I still enjoyed watching “The Social Network ” 😉
nawilla April 13, 2011, 12:37 pm
Two years ago when I got engaged, I don’t remember having such an issue sharing my news in a personal way. Drew proposed on a Friday and by Sunday night, I’d been able to tell all my closest friends the good news on the phone. I called them, they picked up, we talked for a few minutes, done. Or, if they didn’t pick up right away, they called me back within 24 hours. WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH EVERYONE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS?
Are you sure the issue is Facebook and not the dreaded ‘Married Couple Syndrome’ where somehow a couple marries and enters that alternate universe where suddenly communications do not come through and friends never call back and suddenly their social landscape is drastically altered and they never hear from people again after the wedding, usually discovered around the time of the baby shower? Or perhaps as an advice columnist you are more familiar with the Single Person Pariah Syndrome, by which all a single person’s friends marry and never, ever call them again?
Not that I’m saying you are doing anything to alienate your friends or they are doing anything to alienate you, but the difference in social involvment may be tied to your marriage. Did you relocate from your marriage? Do you call, talk to or socialize with the same groups of people to the same extent since your marriage or have your priorities shifted now that you are part of a married social unit? You say these people haven’t called you back, but when was the last time you called them? How often have you been calling them? Have you been doing a disappearing act or a slow fade? Have they been socializing more with others now that you are not in their immediate sphere?
My point is that Facebook/no calls back may be the effect, not the cause. You have gone through a pretty big life change, you probably aren’t socializing the same extent with the same people you did before your marriage, and as such you are (to put it bluntly) a lower social priority to them. This is the change. What makes it feel weird is how the technology expresses this state. You have shifted from ‘Telephone/in Person Friend’ to ‘Facebook Friend,’ whereas in the past this was more likely to be expressed as ‘Telephone/In Person Friend’ to ‘Postal Birth Announcement Friend’.
Of course, this might not be the situation at all. But the fact that you cite the pre-wedding time as the previous state that is different from now makes me suspicious that Facebook is a red herring. I don’t think you are a bad friend or a person who abandoned her friends for married life, people grow and change all the time. (I can’t tell you how many married friends I have that sometimes return my calls never actually initiate contact and it does have a striking correlation to the wedding date. I don’t take it personally, I just realize I have been demoted to a lower sphere simply because they are focused on a life partner now). But the lack of communication is upsetting you. It seems for lower tier (no longer ‘on demand’) friends the media of choice is Facebook, and if you want to keep contact open, this may be the way to go.
nawilla April 13, 2011, 12:40 pm
Oh, and I forgot to say congratulations on your pregnancy. Good luck!
Wendy April 13, 2011, 1:08 pm
Uh, no, I do not have Married Couple Syndrome. These are friends who live in Chicago, where I used to live before I moved to NYC 3 1/2 years ago. Considering i have visited my friends there an average of four times a year since I moved — usually on my own and not with Drew — and most of the friends who have yet to return my call have visited me total of once — for my wedding — I’d say I am not guilty of pulling a disappearing act. One of my New Year’s resolutions last year was to call my long distance friends more often, something I was very successful at, so if anything, my communication with my friends improved after I got married, not the other way around. I totally get what you’re saying, but it just doesn’t apply to me.
nawilla April 13, 2011, 2:40 pm
Well, if you haven’t fallen victim to Married Couple Syndrome (you would know better than I), then the only other theory I have is the problem is with your delivery (of the message, not the baby). Unless all your friends are in Japan at the moment, a mutual, simultaneous flake out is unlikely. (Or they are planning a surprise baby shower).
For most of them, I chose the old fashioned method of calling. Of course, almost everyone let me go to voicemail, so I left messages for them to call me back some time. You guys, no one called me back. Like, a week went by and no one called.
Would you normally be this hurt because people failed to call you back, or is it because they ‘failed to call you back so you could tell them you were pregnant?’
Perhaps it’s because I’m cynical and jaded or perhaps it’s because of my past experiences, but if you have important news that you want to share, SHARE IT, don’t tell me to ‘call you back’ to find out this important news and then resent me because I don’t get back to you fast enough. Honestly, if you had something important to tell me, I’d expect you to just tell me on the message, not expect me to play phone tag to figure out what is happening in your life.
If there is something important to be communicated, there is a very limited number of reasons why it can’t be mentioned in the message in my experience:
a) confidentiality. Applies to medical workers, lawyers and collection agencies. Not friends. If you really, REALLY don’t want to mention that STD or revenge plot gone wrong in detail, at least specify the nature of the emergency and the importance of calling back.
b) someone has died. Yes, real person-to-person communication is called for and the tone and message should express the emergency. This only applies if this is someone the message recipient is really close to. It’s perfectly fine to discuss someone dead that the CALLER is close to on voicemail.
c) someone is in jail. (Does not apply if this is the one phone call and you are asking for bail money).
Note what is not on the list: someone is in the hospital (limit details), someone won the lottery, someone graduated college, someone is engaged, someone will be born in the future or someone has been born just recently. Voicemail can handle it. And thanks to modern technology, your voicemail can be saved as an electronic keepsake expressing your excitement.
I know that for you this baby is the BIGGEST EVENT OF YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. And if you want to tell important people like YOUR PARENTS about this in real time, go for it. But it’s a bit over the top to expect every close friend to play phone tag to find out your big news and being resentful that they don’t, especially when it’s not clear you expressed you had any reason for calling to begin with. (Not to mention that if you blogged about it or the rest of them are on Facebook, they might already know).
People have busy lives and if you REALLY REALLY REALLY want each and every one to call back, give them a reason to. Like, maybe, I don’t know, telling them about the whole baby thing before you get upset that they didn’t read your mind.
jena April 13, 2011, 2:54 pm
Ouch, really? I’m glad you’re not my friend. I expect that when I call and leave a damn message, that the person receiving the message will have the common courtesy of calling back, regardless of what the message is.
Voicemail news is not as fun for anyone because then you don’t get to do the “SQUEE OMG” thing. Self indulgent? Maybe. But they’re her close friends, and you have no right to tell her she’s overreacting because her close friends couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone — if they’re SO busybusybusy, why were they on Facebook?
elisabeth April 13, 2011, 3:02 pm
Whoa – I agree that nawilla’s advice is pretty up-front and unapologetic, but I think she makes some good points. Wendy’s tone in her voicemails may not have conveyed how badly she’s expecting a return call, and I’m sorry, but not everyone responds to phone calls the same way. In this situation, I totally get that it’s so easy to get huffy that they haven’t returned the phone call – this is BIG NEWS! But I’m not sure that getting huffy is going to yield the best results, either. (Self-importance, lessened friendships, and resentment among them)
Whether or not it’s right, I can imagine a friend receiving a seemingly-calm voicemail and “meaning to get back to you” but then ultimately dropping the ball because life gets in the way. And yes, it’s very possible to be on Facebook despite being busybusybusy. As we’ve all mentioned ad nauseum, Facebook is a very *easy* method of communication, and can be utilized without a lot of effort from the user. One can definitely operate on facebook without being as present as they would need to be for a phone or face to face conversation.
jena April 14, 2011, 3:59 pm
If you can’t find time for a returned phone call in a WEEK regardless of Wendy’s or your friend’s tone, it’s laziness. If you are EXCRUTIATINGLY busy, all you’d have to do was start your phone call with, “Hey, I’m super busy but noticed you called so wanted to get back to you! What’s up?” Talk for 5-10 min, then politely say ‘welll shucks it’s been great talking but I’ve really got to get back to ____” (who doesn’t have 5-10 minutes? Even at my peak busy-ness, I’ve always had a few minutes for friends. It’s why people HAVE friends).
Kate April 13, 2011, 2:55 pm
I would hazard a guess that people have ALWAYS had busy lives. I’m sorry, but that’s not a good reason to not return phone calls to good friends. Or anyone! It’s poor manners.
Amy April 13, 2011, 2:57 pm
I just don’t agree. Close friends should call back within a week. It’s not the end of the world to play phone tag.
nawilla April 13, 2011, 2:58 pm
She asked them to call her back SOMETIME. Does the friendship usually demand a week turnover for call backs with no apparent reason?
If I asked my friends to call because I had something to talk about, I’d expect they’d call back, and every time I have expressed that they have. If I just say I’m calling and give no apparent reason, it’s anyone’s guess.
My point is you can’t expect people to react to your big deal when you express it as not a big deal. That’s not friendship, that’s needless drama.
TheGirl April 13, 2011, 3:09 pm
I think a week is more than reasonable. If I call any of my friends, they would most certainly get back to me in a week. If they don’t have time to talk, they would at least send an email or text saying, hey, I’m out of the country, or in jail, or whatever reason they couldn’t call. They would at least have the courtesy to acknowledge the phone call.
Wendy April 13, 2011, 3:21 pm
I think that was another reason I was hurt — the call wasn’t even acknowledged. I know we don’t always have time to set aside thirty minutes or whatever to catch up with friends on the phone. But certainly we have two minutes to send a quick email saying, “Hey got your message. I’d love to catch up soon, but I’m going to be really busy for the next week or so. Can we plan a phone date for later in the month?”
TheGirl April 13, 2011, 3:29 pm
I totally agree with you Wendy. How hard is it to look at your phone and see a friend called, then use that same phone to text back? Any friend of mine that didn’t bother to acknowledge me would not be a friend for long. That’s how we tell ‘friends’ from ‘acquaintances’.
SpaceySteph April 13, 2011, 10:18 pm
Agree with this. As I was reading through these comments I was thinking: I work alot of nights (I’m at work right now) and yes I have time to update facebook because of the nature of my job, but that doesn’t mean I can call someone for a chat session of any length.
However as frequently happens because my friends can’t keep up with my changing shift schedule, if my best friend were to call me now, I would immediately text or email her back and say “Sorry I’m at work until midnight for the rest of the week. Can I call you Saturday?” or maybe “Is it super important, I have a break coming up in 30 minutes?”
So the fact that none of your friends even bothered to contact you in any way, even just to say “I really don’t have time to talk, is everything ok”… yes I think you should be upset.
Christy April 14, 2011, 10:18 am
I know for me, I don’t like to respond to a message like that unless I have a clear plan of when we can talk. It’s definitely a problem of mine, but it’s become the status quo. If someone I knew had left a voicemail of, “Hey, we should chat” I wouldn’t necessarily call them back, simply because it doesn’t really seem that pressing. I agree that an email or facebook chat might be in order, but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have, and the prospect of having to plan for one more thing is just daunting. Facebook, on the other hand, is a brief distraction from work and is the OPPOSITE of a commitment.
Amy April 13, 2011, 3:45 pm
I don’t know that friendship DEMANDS anything. Maintaining a friendship takes a little effort – phone calls, emails, girls night out, Sunday afternoon coffee, etc. etc. depending on the distance between the friends and the stage of life that everyone is in. To maintain a friendship you have to put some effort into it – so if a friend calls – and you want to continue being their friend – you call back or get in touch some other way. You don’t do this for fear of losing the friend – but it’s just the way to show you care about the person and you value the relationship. Besides – it seems to be common courtesy and good manners – would you blow off a voicemail from a client for weeks on end? If not – why would you blow off a person that you actually care about for that long?
TheGirl April 13, 2011, 3:07 pm
I have to disagree. I think having a baby or getting married both count as warranting a phone call and a call back and do not need to be mentioned in the voicemail. Sometimes good news is just as important as bad news. O.k, maybe one of them listened to the message, didn’t think anything urgent was happening and forgot to call back, but ALL of them?
Wendy April 13, 2011, 3:09 pm
For the record, it was three people. Three very different people. Other friends were either told the news in person, over email, or were called earlier (and picked up!).
sarolabelle April 13, 2011, 3:25 pm
I think you should call them again. “hey, hadn’t heard from you. Would love to talk soon. Call me back”
TheGirl April 13, 2011, 3:40 pm
Definitely give them another chance. If you call them on it and they continue to ignore you, then the problem runs deeper, and you’ll probably need to put them in to that ‘acquaintance’ box. I hope it works out!!
Wendy April 13, 2011, 3:34 pm
This is probably what I’ll end up doing. I think I needed to vent a little about it first.
thyme April 13, 2011, 6:14 pm
I really think your one phone call was enough, and you are now free to post the news on FB, and nobody who didn’t bother to return your call has a right to be offended, because you TRIED to talk to them! I bet they will think, “Oooh, that’s why she called me! Whoops, I should have called her back!”
I don’t really see why this is a big dilemma. Do you think your friends will actually be mad/hurt, when they know darn well that you did try to call them, and it was THEM who didn’t bother to call back? Would you be mad in their position? I wouldn’t. I’d feel happy for you and a little guilty for not calling you back.
Wendy April 13, 2011, 6:32 pm
Well, the thing is, I probably wouldn’t ordinarily announce my pregnancy on Facebook. I maybe will in a few months, much closer to the birth. But, I don’t know, I hardly ever post anything at all on Facebook and just don’t really have any desire to share this news so early on. I’d really only be doing it now as a passive-aggressive attempt to make a point with my friends who didn’t return my calls. Kind of silly, right? Which is why I’ll probably just call them again or send a brief email message giving them the news.
After venting about it here all day, I’m actually pretty over it. Hey, whaddaya know. It really does help to get readers’ advice and feedback on stuff.
Miranda April 13, 2011, 12:46 pm
They may not even listen to their voicemails – I know so many people that literally NEVER listen to their voicemails. My mother included! I would try calling them back again – or sending a text asking them to give you a call when they get a chance.
Painted_lady April 13, 2011, 1:16 pm
REALLY good point!! I didn’t even think about that. My mom keeps threatening to stop leaving voicemails because I never check them.
thyme April 13, 2011, 6:23 pm
ha ha…My mom always leaves a voicemail, even just to say, “I was just calling to say hi, nothing important!” So yeah, I tend not to listen to them– I just call her back. She even leaves messages when we were already talking, the call was dropped, and we both try calling back at the same time and both phones go directly to voicemail because we’re both making calls.
Kate April 13, 2011, 2:57 pm
I just voice to text on my phone…it’s great. I mean, it doesn’t always get the message right, but now I can quickly see what the caller said.
Kate April 13, 2011, 2:58 pm
just **got** voice to text, that is.
Maracuya April 13, 2011, 3:13 pm
The only reason I don’t listen to my voicemails though, is because I immediately call the person back. 🙂
Fairhaired Child April 13, 2011, 9:52 pm
I forgot about this point too. My one best guy friend will never check his voicemails and usually at the end of my ramble I go “you probably wont listen to this anyway until your voice mailbox is too full and you’ll have deleted it instantly so I’ll just call back again later.” But my mom also has a habit of not checking her voicemail because she forgets to or she doesnt see the icon on her screen saying she has one so my voice mails to her go “WHAT IF I WAS DYING IN A DITCH AND YOU WOULDN’T EVEN KNOOOW BECUASE YOU DIDNT ANSWER.. anyway.. call me back I need to tell you something.. and no I’m not dead.”
Marcie April 13, 2011, 12:57 pm
Wendy, I would feel exactly the same way as you. I have a certain friend who NEVER calls me back, and hardly responds to texts either. I called a friend over a month ago and she never called me back. I’ve definitely seen her post plenty on Facebook since then. It drives me nuts too. I can’t believe none of your friends responded to even a casual voicemail. I don’t blame you for not wanting to reveal the news on voicemail. You’re trying to show them the respect of actually TELLING them, but they can’t muster up 5 minutes to call you back. I’d probably go ahead and post the news on Facebook if you wanted to, and do what your BF says, say “This is what I was calling you about!”
Rachelgrace53 April 13, 2011, 12:59 pm
Let me just say this is one of my favorite posts from you. People everywhere will be asking themselves “WWDWS?” for the rest of their lives!
Facebook is how I found out about the pregnancy of one of my BEST FRIEND’S. It was a status just implying what everyone else apparently knew, considering the comments didn’t contain any congratulations… Only comments that made it clear everyone in her life knew about this pregnancy except for me. I was beyond pissed. Because she didn’t make any attempt to contact me. If I even had a missed call from her, it would have been a completely different story. But since no one called you back, I’d say either post a facebook status or let people find out on their own. At least you know your blog community is excited for you!
And it IS harder to get ahold of people on the phone, myself included. I have become uncomfortable on the phone, since it’s so rare I have to use it. Facebook is ruining our ability to communicate! Fuck facebook, indeed!
MsMisery April 13, 2011, 1:21 pm
If your friends can’t be arsed to return your calls after an entire week, then you have every right to spill your own beans any way you wish. Don’t hold up this joyous news because of them!!! And if they get all peevy and want to know why you didn’t tell certain people in a certain way, you can say… you tried.
And yes… fuck facebook.
eel avocado April 13, 2011, 1:28 pm
I’m sorry your friends never got back to you, Wendy. I would be upset, too. Facebook has definitely changed the way people communicate. Luckily, my good friends are more the email-and-phone-call type. The relationship with my mother, however, has changed drastically. Ever since she got Facebook, every conversation starts off with, “Did you see what Person A wrote on Person B’s wall?!” or “Did you see the link I posted on my wall?” or “What did that person mean when they wrote that on your wall?” Most of the time, I don’t even know what she’s talking about. Even more, I don’t care! She’s tossed around deleting her account because she spends so much time on it. I hope she does…and soon.
LTC039 April 13, 2011, 1:31 pm
You know what Wendy, you have EVERY RIGHT to be upset. I’m sorry, technology may be changing, but basic courtesies of friendships do not. If those people were your good friends, they would make the time to call you back. A pregnancy is a huge deal & very exciting! Any good friend wouldn’t just listen to your voicemail & let it go. I’m sorry but it’s the truth.
My friend since I was 5 yrs old got engaged a few months back. She announced it on Facebook because she was in another state when it happened. I got upset & called her asking why I didn’t get a phone call about her engagement? But you know what? it was HER choice. She was the one with the news.
Honestly, I don’t think you’re being irrational. I think you should reach out to them, sharing your feelings with them. Maybe all those reasons you mentioned above of why they didn’t get back to you are true, but you’ll never know until you ask, if they’re your good friends, they’ll definitely understand. & I feel if you don’t, you’re going to have that little feeling of resentment stay with you.
bostonpupgal April 13, 2011, 1:33 pm
Congrats on the pregnancy Wendy! No matter what is going with the people in your life, the awesome news is a very welcome and loved new life is coming in to the world.
As for the facebook stuff, I totally agree. In general it seems like the only lines of communication now are text, fb, and in person visits..during which we text and fb. I think it has fostered a very “me”-centered worldview. Have news? No need to call, friends can see it in my status update! Old friend left me a voicemail? Eh, I don’t like phonecalls, I’m too busy, etc. etc. etc.
I’ve definitely felt left out, ignored, and not cared about a few times as a result. But I’m lucky enough to have friends and family I still regularly call and actually talk to.
When we got engaged in December, I immediately called my close family and friends. Anyone I didn’t get in touch with right away got a voicemail saying we had big news and to call back. We gave our friends/fam about 3 days to call back, and happily for us most did. Some of my close-but-not-superclose friends and relatives got a picture message of the ring with a note about our happy news and an invitation to call us if they wanted more details or to catch up. After a few days, we changed our facebook status. At that point we figured anyone who hadn’t responded to our phone calls or messages deserved to find out “through the grapevine”
Anne (I Go To 11) April 13, 2011, 1:44 pm
For me, personally, I HATE chit-chatting on the phone. I’m on the phone all day for work, so after 8 hours of almost nonstop talking to people on the phone, the last thing on earth I want to do is get BACK on the phone unless it’s absolutely necessary (think emergencies and the like). Rarely do I feel like calling people just to say hi; if I’m going to talk to you on the phone, there needs to be a concrete reason for doing so. Texting or emailing is fine for the most part, but I’ve found it’s much easier to keep in touch with people via Facebook, especially since I can check it from my phone when I’m out and about. (I’m 27, BTW.) Between working full time, school part time, family stuff and church stuff, I’m pretty much on the go all the time. If you have important news you want to share with me, send me a text telling me to call you, and I’ll be more likely to actually do so.
That said, if I get a voicemail from someone, I won’t wait an entire week to get back with them. If I were you, I may try calling them back and stress it’s really important they call you ASAP. You don’t have to announce your pregnancy in the voicemail, but if you say something like, “Hey [friend’s name], I have something really, really important to tell you, and since I would rather tell you directly instead of leaving a message, I’d appreciate it if you called me back ASAP,” maybe you’d get a better response? I know I’d be more inclined to call you back with a message like that than if you said something like, “Hey, give me a call when you get a chance” because it goes back to my hatred of chit-chatting on the phone without a specific reason why. But that’s just me. I can’t speak for your friends, obviously; maybe they have valid excuses for not calling you back yet. Maybe they don’t and they’re just super lazy. But you probably won’t know for sure unless you prod them a little. 🙂
jena April 13, 2011, 2:44 pm
Dang, I generally just assume if someone thinks something is important enough to leave a message, I should treat it as important enought to call back.
elisabeth April 13, 2011, 2:55 pm
That’s me, exactly. If I see a missed call but the caller didn’t bother to leave a voicemail, I will raaaaaarely bother to call them back. Voicemail = importance, to me. However, most of my friends are the other way around (never listen to voicemails, but if you call they’ll call you back), so they just don’t bother leaving voicemails for me – and I don’t call them back, and then a minor tiff over miscommunication ensues.
The wonder of technology is that you choose how you want to use it to best suit you. The challenge is meshing your technology use with the way your friends choose to use it.
BoomChakaLaka April 13, 2011, 1:59 pm
Wendy, I think its more important that you tell them than not tell them (over how you tell them). Sorry that was confusing. What I mean is, maybe you should send out an e-mail blast to all your friends with a game. Maybe a few hints over a few e-mails. Get them excited. And then see who calls. Or, just mention it on an e-mail. I’m sorry that they didn’t return your call for whatever reason, but I know that if you don’t tell them at all, it will be worse.
Courtney April 13, 2011, 2:04 pm
I would be superrrr bummed to learn of engagement or baby news on FB from any close friends. I have decided when either of those happen, the phone calls will be made to mom (haha i can’t even imagine how ridiculous upset my mom would be if she learned news like that on FB), dad, sister, brother, 3 or 4 close cousins, and the best friends. I would make sure to wait at least until the day after a proposal to post it on FB. FB has taken over and even though i admit i am addicted to it like everyone else, i wonder how different life would be if we didnt have FB! haha
Bethany April 13, 2011, 2:34 pm
I think Facebook can actually enhance friendships when used “properly”.
I keep in touch with my 3 best friends via the phone, email, texting, FB and in person- FB is a great way for us to see eachother’s pictures and know what’s going on on a day to day basis, but it will never be our sole method of communication. When I got engaged last summer after I called my parents, I called each of them, and if they didn’t answer they called me back right away because they could tell from my message that I had very good news to share. I would never have dreamed of telling them that news any other way (other than in person, if it would have been possible to do right away).
Where I think Facebook helps is with those “acquaintance” friends. People you talk to socially, but you probably wouldn’t hang out with if it was just the 2 of you. I think it’s great for encouraging communication with those people, and I think it’s appropriate to share big news with those people on FB, but only after you’ve personally told all the people who really matter the most to you.
I’m really sorry that your friends let you down- On the plus side, know that your experience will probably make us readers a lot more proactive when it comes to returning phone calls, so maybe someone else won’t have to feel like you’ve felt.
Amy April 13, 2011, 3:01 pm
Very well said.
Bobbie April 13, 2011, 2:41 pm
I am in definite agreement with you Wendy. I have had the same things happen to me and I do believe that Facebook does ruin friendships. I had a few good friends that use to send me emails all the time or call, then suddenly the emails stopped coming, no one called me back and the only way we communicate now is through Facebook! I think if I were in your shoes I would just announce your news on Facebook if you were planning to do that anyway after you told your closest friends. If they’re not going to pick up the phone, then that’s their choice. Don’t make yourself feel bad about it.
jena April 13, 2011, 2:42 pm
I think Facebook has taught people that they don’t *have* to be friendly anymore, or even nice –friends of friends get into heated arguments with STRANGERS over comments made to the original friend; it’s insane. If they know they will get news via a News Feed, what reason do they have to pick up the phone and call you? Hell, I’m half surprised they all didn’t write on your wall, “Hey, saw you called, what’s up?” … Because, ick, that happens. 🙁
WatersEdge April 13, 2011, 4:01 pm
Ok so you have more than enough advice but I’ll just chime in. I hate returning phone calls; I’m not great at it. I do pretty well with texts, though. That said, I’d be pissed too if I tried to announce my pregnancy and nobody called me back.
What I would do is send a tongue-in-cheek friendly but annoyed text “hinting” at news. Something along the lines of “Hey you jerk, I called you a week ago! I HAVE NEWS! call me”. Then when they called I’d guilt the crap out of them for not calling me back by making a bunch of jokes about it. But I’m very blunt with my friends and they know not to take me too seriously.
bitter gay mark April 13, 2011, 4:44 pm
I am on the fence about all this technology… Truth be told, I found out my sister was going to have a baby — meaning I would FINALLY! be an uncle — via email. Now, before you all get to crazy about how sad there wasn’t a phone call, I need to preface this by saying I had just run off to Thailand for two weeks (sans cellphone!)… My sister was just barely pregnant, but highly suspicious, and she only saw the doctor for confirmation several hours after I had boarded the plane for Bangkok.
So, on my very first morning in Thailand, I log on to the internet to tell the world I made it and there it was in my inbox.
READ THIS IF YOU CAN
“I wasn’t going to tell you this til you got back but I told Mom and Dad last night and Dad went crazy and said I had to Email you Right Away and tell you!! So fine…”
Honestly, it never once crossed my mind that I wish I’d heard the news in person. The email was astounding! I immediately typed back a response and marveled at how my first day in Asia had just gotten even more intense… And what a great story I had to tell my nephew down the road, I could always tell him about the day I first learned he was on his way and there I was in Thailand…
abby April 13, 2011, 4:41 pm
FWIW, I found out my long-distance best friend was pregnant via text message, and I am totally ok with that. But, she and I often catch up more via text than phone. She did call me when she asked me to be in her wedding a few years ago, though.
Rachelgab April 13, 2011, 7:27 pm
I am working on my doctorate in clinical psychology and social media’s effect on relationships is a HUGE area of interest for me. HUGE. It will likely be the area I do my dissertation on. I had the same disappointing feelings about what FB was doing to my personal relationships and about a year ago I decided to cancel my account. It was really hard at first! But as time went on, I missed it less and less. I will say that now I have probably less than half the amount of friends I used to have. It makes me really sad and angry that people I thought were my friends won’t reach past FB, but they won’t. So, I’ve had to come to the realization that those people are just not really my friends. It took time, but the relationships I do have now are authentic and much more satisfying. I know that it’s frustrating and you are definitely NOT alone.
This is an area that’s just beginning to be researched, but the journal of cyberpsychology is a great place to acquire info. I recently read a study about activity levels on FB and correlations to narcissism and low self esteem. Very interesting stuff.
WatersEdge April 13, 2011, 7:57 pm
::::::positive energy vibes to the person beginning the doctorate in clinical psychology dissertation process:::::::
You can do it!!! <— I am a firm believer that we all need as much support as we can get. May your passion for the material buoy you for many prosperous years!
Skyblossom April 13, 2011, 9:13 pm
Your research sounds fascinating! I can’t wait to read more about it and similar research in the news!
Skyblossom April 13, 2011, 9:11 pm
I can’t say that I’ve had that problem because most of my generation still isn’t on Facebook. I don’t know what they’re waiting for.
In your situation it has to be frustrating to have huge news to share and no one is listening. After a week of trying I think you’d be justified in just putting it out there on Facebook, especially if you said you just wanted to make sure all those who you had tried to contact didn’t hear your news through the grapevine.
I think you’d be justified in doing that but first you probably should try a group email asking friends to call because you have big news. Give them a few days, share your news with those who call and then let everyone else know through Facebook. You can only do so much and I think you can expect them to meet you somewhere in the middle and if they don’t you’ve done your best.
This has to be a major disappointment and letdown.
When you have kids it’s like you step into a different world. It doesn’t take long and your friends are other couples with kids the same age as your own. We met both couples that are our closest friends through our kids. One through our son and one through our daughter. To be fair, I must add that we also moved to a new town while I was pregnant with our first baby so met people as a married couple with a baby and that probably makes a huge difference. We had no close friends locally. Our former best friends slowly drifted away from lack of day in and day out contact.
I don’t know if it helps your situation but I think that’s the way life happens. It takes frequent contact or you drift apart and so this may not have so much to do with Facebook but just life in general. It’s disappointing at first, you feel let down but then you end up so busy with your own life that it’s okay. As the years go by you slowly make new best friends who have more in common with your current life but still keep in touch with old best friends who have become more like good acquaintances.
Sue April 13, 2011, 9:12 pm
Hey Wendy: While I know you must be disappointed you didn’t have an opportunity to share your exciting news with those you care most about, I definitely understand the avoiding the phone thing. After working all day long and “being on”, I hate actually conversing with people, especially on the phone. I spend time keeping in touch with friends/family through email and/or facebook because it is brief and I don’t have to talk and put on a cheery voice. It is more to the point without all of the preliminary “how are yous”. I know this sounds very unfriendly-like, but through technology I can keep in touch with more people at a more superficial level so it doesn’t exhaust me……
As I write this, it does sound sad, a sign of our busy, over-worked times?
P.S. I am very excited about your news….I am sure your parents are thrilled about being grandparents!! I haven’t noticed your Dad on-line lately….is he over-worked as well?
Wendy April 13, 2011, 9:59 pm
Oh, I’m the same way. Actually, I really hate talking on the phone! But, I realize that, at least in terms of my long distance friendships, it’s a great way to stay connected, so I force myself to call my friends on a regular basis, even if it’s just for a few minutes here an there. There’s just something about hearing the voices that’s so much more personal that email or anything else. But, no, I get it. Email is way more convenient, and it’s generally my preferred method of staying in touch. But when friends call me and leave a voice mail, I call them back!
As for my dad, he’s definitely no over-worked. He quit his part-time job and is enjoying full-on retirement. He keeps busy walking many, many miles every day and drinking lots of wine!
Anne (I Go To 11) April 14, 2011, 9:52 am
Now that sounds like my kind of retirement! 😉
Jennifer April 14, 2011, 9:07 am
I would argue that texting is the real problem. I love the phone and I still don’t always listen to my messages (though I’ll pick up if I’m free). I either call them back or text asking what’s up. For a lot of my friends the phone is a big deal and something they are uncomfortable with. That being said we’re in our early 20s but it’s more that they were relieved when texting became popular.
I’d say the ‘Important’ email is the way to go. Good luck!