While I was home in New York over Christmas break, I had the rare opportunity to grab brunch with two of my girlfriends whom I've known since elementary school. As the years go by, the number of times the three of us are in the same place at the same time grows smaller. It had been about 18 months since the last time we'd found ourselves seated around the same table.
Of course, we'd "kept in touch" via social media, receiving glimpses into each other's lives through vacation photos and status updates. We knew the picture-perfect, edited-down versions well. Over eggs and toast, however, the hidden realness started to come out. As we shared more, it turned out that all of our lives had been pretty life-like during the time we hadn't seen each other. In our separate corners of the country, we had each experienced our fair share of career questioning, relationship struggles, and general growing up anxieties. One friend joked that, before coming to lunch, she had made a bet with her mom about which of us would end up engaged first, a bet which ended up being comically far from the truth. But for some reason, even when we had been crawling through the same muddy challenges, we hesitated to pick up the phone since we assumed that the others had been doing everything right, floating through the world with ease.
This year, I've heard more and more of my friends vowing to stay off social media, or to only check one app one time per day, resolving to get more in touch with the real world. While I haven't imposed strict limits on myself for 2017, I have made a pledge to text, call, or invite my friends to have actual conversations more frequently. As we get older and our sense of home becomes a bit blurred, our connections to the people we love become that much more important. A couple of cups of coffee, even when shared in silence, can often say a lot more than 140 characters.