It's Just 7,905 Miles to My Closest Friends
Before the pandemic struck, I was accustomed to maintaining friendships through shared experiences and face-to-face interactions. Like many of us, when you asked someone to catch up that usually involved getting together in person. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered those perspectives. Social distancing measures made in-person meet-ups impossible, necessitating a shift on how those connections occurred. It was through this transition, predominantly text messaging, that I realized how I had been missing out on some of my most rewarding friendships.
Texting became my lifeline, a crucial tool to re-embrace friendships during an unprecedented time in our lives. The joy of receiving a simple “How are you?”, an amusing gif or emoji, or fun story proved to be surprisingly uplifting. It revealed to me that, as much as in-person interactions are crucial, the warmth and connection can be equally conveyed through words on a screen. Friendships could deepen through text conversations, providing comfort, solace, and a sense of normalcy amid the pandemic. As I relied more heavily on texting for communication, my preconceived notions about digital interactions changed. I came to appreciate the flexibility and immediacy it offered, allowing me to stay connected and share experiences with friends, no matter the distance. As challenging as those times were, I came out of them with deeper friendships than ever before.