An Alien’s Perspective: On losing touch with friends

Note: I’m being quite the emo bitch in this column. Please pardon me, and this goes out as an apology to all my friends I haven’t been talking to quite as much as I did before.

I guess I am starting to grow old. I do not feel this way because someone made a comment about my hairline, or because I have the sudden urge to yell at little kids playing on my front yard. I am afraid I am finally growing old because I feel like I cannot handle technology anymore. I find myself overwhelmed by how often several people can reach me on more than one medium.

This column is not a first-world-problem rant from a random international student about pretending to be popular. In fact, it is anything but that.

You know what I am talking about if you have ever been in a long-distance relationship. Moving to a new country, especially one that is halfway around the globe, can seriously affect your relationships.

I promised myself that nothing would change. I promised to chat on Facebook and Google Talk, and to Skype at least once a day. My grand blueprint for how I would communicate with my friends was obviously foolproof enough to put my war-plan for the snowball fight to shame.

Reality may have lost its mind laughing at my plans. Dealing with the time difference is harder than I imagined it would be. Almost everyone I knew was located in the Indian subcontinent. So that means they are up when it is night out here. At first, I stayed up all night talking to everyone I saw online. I slept through my general education classes almost every following day.

It wasn’t long before I found my schedule getting busier. I died a little on the inside when I first used that term—schedule. I always associated it with pretentious, self-obsessed people who called themselves entrepreneurs. I started to leave halfway through my conversations online whenever something came up. My phone, like almost everyone else’s, never stops ringing from all the pending notifications.

All I feel is despair every time I miss a conversation and each time I log into one of the online social networking accounts, all I see are several unread messages, each one reminding me of all the catching up I need to do. I realize I miss the times when writing once a month meant you were still in touch with someone.

The pace of online conversations leaves me out of breath. I hope I remember the password to my old email account.


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