Saturday, February 28, 2009

home again, home again

Continuing yesterday's train of thought, if what I suspect about facebook and its effect on how we form and maintain friendships is true, than what will this mean for my daughter's generation?

She is in preschool with kids she has known since she was seven months old, already very remote from my childhood experience, barring growing up with my baby brother. Some friends have already moved on, attending kindergarten earlier, based on their birthday or school policies. So far she has been able to keep up with them. via the occasional playdate. Next year it will splinter off even more, with kids attending kindergarten based on where they live, rather than where their parents work. If this was my childhood, of oh so many years ago, that would be that. But with tools like facebook, she could theoretically keep in touch with babyhood pals throughout her life. I already am a facebook friend with parents of some of the kids that moved on last year, so the connections have been forged.

What will it mean for her to never be out of touch? Will she be living in an "internet small town" that functions like the sorts of towns you see in the movies where everyone knows everyone else? How ironic that some "communities" will be so closely knit, when the family in the next apartment might be total strangers.

I can't know any of this for sure, but it seems a logical progression. Some might be put off by the prospect, but it occurs to me that when we form friendships as children, they are tight, loyal, and full of love and other intense feelings. It might not be so bad to carry on such relationships virtually, even as a person moves on geographically. Maybe holding on to the loves and friendships of childhood will create a more loving, less anxious generation. I hope so.


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