I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a kid, having penpals was totally the cool thing to do. I had penpals in Warkworth and Gisborne, and then it got electronic – first I started writing to a girl in India, then in Australia, the States and Canada.
I remember one of them in particular – a guy called Josh – who I spent all of my time chatting to on MSN Messenger and writing epic emails (virtually novels) back and forth with. We would include snippets of song lyrics in each exchange, both of us trying to outdo each other at being alternative and obscure (he won every time, seeing as I’d only just discovered the magic of music that, well, predated my birthday).
And yet, every single one of those relationships petered out.
Until I recently got a friend request on Facebook from my Gisborne penpal, after literally years of no contact. I remember nothing about her, save her full name and that she had a fairly large family. And I’m not even sure about that.
So I hit ignore, with barely a second thought. For a moment I felt like I should feel bad about it, but honestly, I believe those relationships had a time and place. We never had anything in common, and we never shared anything of any importance with each other. I’d rather devote my energy to friendships with people I genuinely care about and wish that I saw more of.