I have a few really good friends who don’t live around me. In the case of one friend, I’m the dumbass who moved across the country to Seattle. “Home” used to be Michigan. The only mountains they have in Michigan are the mountains of snow that are constantly being dumped on them. I’m not missing that crap, but I always miss that friend.
The other friends I have in far off (and mostly snowy) places, I’ve met mostly because of this blog. They are awesome people. In many ways those friendships are easier to maintain than the friendships with the person who lives down the street.
I’ve thought of 10 ways that people being hundreds or even thousands of miles away makes life easier, friendships thrive, and sometimes distance brings us closer together.
1. We can touch base easily. A quick text or instant message, a “did you see this?” or “how are things going?” We can talk often, even if it’s for short periods of time.
2. I can talk to long distance friends while I’m in my pajamas at 2 in the afternoon and they don’t judge me. Crazy local people judge you if you are in your jammies on a weekday afternoon. I understand that. Here’s a fair warning to friends who live nearby – if you stop by in the afternoon unannounced, I will probably be in my pajamas. I understand that you will probably judge me.
3. I can walk away while “talking” with them to go pee without waiting for a pause in the conversation. For face to face friends it’s extremely rude to walk out while someone else is talking, but sometimes you have to wait for a long time before there is a pause in the conversation. I know this because friends have almost peed their pants while sitting on my couch.
4. No house cleaning needs to be done before we chat. My house can look like a tornado went through it and they can’t see it. If they can’t see it, they can’t judge it. If they can’t judge it, I’m happy to sit and chat instead of sweeping up the weeks worth of dog hair on the floor.
5. If the conversation gets boring/awkward someone just quits talking for a while. This doesn’t work in real life. I’ve tried.
6. Long distance friends don’t find it rude if I check my email, check Facebook or send a text while talking with them. In person, you here the ding that signifies someone sent you an email. You know you want to check it. Was it important? This could be where a quick bathroom break is in order. Instant messenger doesn’t tell on you so check away.
7. Screaming kids in the background don’t bother them either. This is a big bonus. Talking with a parent on the phone is like talking to a person on drugs – no one knows what the hell is going on. Holding a conversation with your friends and kids at the same time is exhausting. Online, there is no issue.
8. No need for hair/make up to be done. Being invisible is nice!
9. Your kids don’t have to get along with their kids!!! Yea! Ever have a mom friend that you get along with perfectly, but their kid somehow turns out to be Satan’s spawn and your kids can’t stand them? Yeah, that’s happened to me. More than once. One more win for long distance friends.
10. There’s not as much of a chance of me saying something stupid or completely inappropriate. There’s that slight delay between thinking something and actually having it typed out and pressing enter that sometimes is just enough time for me to say “What the hell? You can’t actually send that, dumbass.” In real life, it would already be out of my mouth. I’m a better person online for that.