Long Live the “Instaship”

The other day I happened upon an article titled “Posting Pictures Like Popping Molly, Millennial Addicts Need to Cool it With the Instagram: It’s time to get clean. It’s time to unfilter our lives.” I normally would not have clicked on such an article because, admittedly, I enjoy Instagram and don’t want be made to feel guilty about that fact. But, a fellow Hillsdale College graduate, Philip Wegmann, wrote the article, and since I have been feeling a bit nostalgic about my alma mater lately, I decided to give it a read.

You might be able to glean the author’s point just by the title, but I would still recommend reading the piece. I found myself wanting to agree with the author. I wanted to be able to be a bystander chastising the millennials for living life behind a lens because I truly believe that many millennials are addicted to oversharing and carefully crafting “paper” lives.  But, I just couldn’t do it. I could neither fully reject nor accept his argument.

As odd as this may seem, I couldn’t accept his argument because of Hillsdale College. There is a lot to be said about Hillsdale College, but I will leave most of that to another day. What I will say is that people are able to cultivate beautiful friendships while at Hillsdale (this is most likely true of many institutions of higher education, but my experience is at Hillsdale), and there are few things in life more worthwhile than having and being a good friend. Aristotle puts forth three types of friendships within the Nicomachean Ethics (I wouldn’t be a true Hillsdale College alumna if I didn’t at least mention Aristotle once); friendships of utility, pleasure, and virtue. The virtuous friendship is, of course, the highest form of friendship. It is the type of friendship that makes a community thrive, and I think that it is this type of friendship that I witnessed and participated in at Hillsdale.

Unfortunately, I live in a different time zone from almost every friend that I made while at Hillsdale, but in many ways, Instagram has made the distance between us seem much shorter. I like to call it, the “instaship.” Through Instagram, I have come to know about the daily lives of my college friends. I see pictures of their families and their homes. I see pieces of their lives; those pieces might be a bit shinier, but I know that. And, maybe this desire to see beauty in the mundane isn’t so terrible.

“Instaships” are nowhere near as fulfilling as friendships. If the highest form of friendship is a sturdy rope, an “instaship” is a few strands of that same rope. I suppose the question is would you rather have a few strands of the best friendship or none at all? I know that I would rather cling to those few strands for as long as possible. Those strands have allowed me to remain connected to people who otherwise would have slipped through my fingers and out of reach as I drove away from Hillsdale that final day. I may not be an active participant in their lives, but I am an active observer. And maybe, someday, because of those lasting strands, circumstances will allow us to reassemble that rope and make the transition from observers to participants.

Although, I am unwilling to give up my “instaships,” I can also see the danger that Wegmann illustrates. My approach to Instagram and social media is likely the exception not the rule. I am not looking for likes, shares or follows. In fact, most of the time, I agonize over whether or not I want to post at all. When I do post, it is because I want to share a slice of my life with friends and family who are dear to me. Maybe it will make them smile to know that I too saw a beautiful sunset or was able to gather with old friends, but maybe it won’t. And, that doesn’t bother me.

Abuse of social media is commonly associated with the societal desire to be liked, to be included, to be beautiful, or even to be envied. And of all the social media platforms out there, I can see the danger that Instagram presents. Like a drug (possibly molly…), some users are unable to stop. Whether it be scrolling through photos, coming up with quippy captions, or framing the perfect photo, they choose to preserve a moment rather than to live it. And often, users go as far as to fabricate that moment. Instagram itself isn’t bad, but sometimes the way its users approach it is harmful.

Instagram offers us the opportunity to “share” photos. Share can be described a number of ways, but its use by Instagram has always brought to mind the term defined as “to divide and distribute in parts; apportion.” When, I click the “share” button, I am showing my followers a fraction of my life. It is not a true representation of my life; it is an incomplete piece. And as I enjoy my “instaships,” that is something that I strive to keep in mind.

Instagram should be used intentionally and in moderation. Molly should be avoided.


            That’s All She Wrote

Life in the ‘C’ League

I am sure that all of my avid readers (Mom and Dad) are familiar with my bio which reads, “Bureaucrat by day, ‘C’ League athlete by night, I fill the rest of my time thinking about things I should be writing about and sometimes fighting crime.” I will leave an account of my career as a vigilante for another day, but  I will take a little time to tell you about my life in the ‘C’ League. The timing only seems right as my volleyball team starts tournament play today.

I have been living large in the ‘C’ League for three years now. I am sure you are bursting with questions.  What is life like in the ‘C’ League? How did I get here–how can you get here? All are good questions. You don’t wake up in the ‘C’ League; getting here has been a journey which is why this will be a two part post.

Am I an athlete? Mrs. Larson’s 5th grade class certainly thought so when they voted me “most athletic girl.” This distinction of my athletic prowess put me up there with the best of the best; the cream of the crop. *Jenny, *Kelsie, and I reigned as the most athletic girls in the whole of the 5th grade.*Names have been changed–athlete’s of this caliber don’t need to be distracted from their training by pestering fans.

I stuck it out with the greats for a few years. but I always knew when it was time to retire. Some people might question my usage of the word “retire” rather than “quit.” Quitters walk away when they are faced with adversity; that’s not what I did. I made a series of strategic choices. Following the prolific career of an elite athlete can be  tough. So, I will break my career down by sport (starting in Junior High) and reason for retirement.

Sport: Track

My track career ended after a highly successful 8th grade season.  I walked away from the last meet  as the regional champion in high jump, long jump, and triple jump much to the chagrin of *Kelsie who was the favorite in the jumping events. Some might argue that I shouldn’t have walked away while I was on top, but ultimately, it was the right choice. I considered jumping into another season, but on my way to the first practice, I made a last minute judgement call and instead opted to enroll in a pottery class at the local rec center.

Reason for Retirement: Diversifying my interests while still on top

Sport: Basketball

I was a solid starter throughout junior high. Tall and lanky, I was an excellent re-bounder who inevitably spent almost as much time falling on the floor as I did running up and down it. Years of YMCA basketball had prepared me for the rigors of being a true baller. During my 8th grade season, we ran the sideline play “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” (I suppose I should note the coach was also our history teacher) like a well-oiled machine. Hindered only by a lifelong ankle injury, I finished that season well-prepared to enter the world of freshman ball. That summer I geared up by attending a basketball camp at a college campus in a neighboring state. It was there that i learned that there is very little I like about girls basketball. From the shoes to the shorts to how serious all the girls took it, I just knew that the sport wasn’t for me.

Before camp was even over I had decided I was done. However, I did purchase a great sweatshirt that remains a household favorite. So, there’s that…

Reason for Retirement: Required open gym attendance would infringe on valuable time in the boat the following summer. 

Sport: Cross Country

I ran varsity cross country from 7th through 10th grade. Cross country is, for the most part, just as miserable as you would imagine it to be. I am not a natural runner, but I managed to make it work. But after four years running varsity, I reasoned that it was time to turn in my spikes (this is literally just a saying–I never thought buying spikes was that necessary much to the annoyance of my coach). My main contribution to the team was a positive attitude.

Reason for Retirement: Came to my senses

Conquering (or achieving the most marginal level of success) and later retiring from sports was an important step in achieving my current status in the “C” League where I am currently living large.

image1 image2 dive

An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Varmint Control

I might currently be a bureaucrat, but there are certainly days that I vehemently wish that I owned my own business. This desire is generally the strongest when there are sub zero temperatures, and the idea of putting on work clothes seems about as appealing as contracting leprosy (in my alternate, business owner reality I get to wear sensible shoes and jeans to work in the winter). It is on these days that I fondly recall the summer sun, bare feet, and my first venture into the business world.

I was young. I was hungry. I was ready to take the world by storm. Reality check: I was 6. It was summer, and I lived one door down from Ed’s Bait Shop aka The Candy Store. I was looking for an extra 35 cents. *Don’t scoff. 35 cents could get you a tootsie pop, a blow pop, and 3 gummy worms OR 35 tootie fruties OR 5 peachies and 2 gummy worms. The possibilities were endless. Like any self-respecting 6 year-old, I liked to hit up the candy store around 3 pm after having a nice little rest. My mom was certainly willing to finance this daily venture, but 25 cents was all I got. I had big dreams; 60 cents could buy a full bag of skittles. Summer is always full of possibilities, and the summer of ’96 was no exception.

What was my business you ask? Lot’s of kids go for the lemonade stand, but not me. Well, I should say not us. At 6, I wasn’t ready to give up all of my time to growing a business. I had a very active social agenda, and I saw the value in having a few partners to lean on and help with math that went beyond simple addition and subtraction. It was a family venture. My older brother and I boldly entered into a partnership with a brother/brother combo. Our business was critter catching. The neighbors no longer needed to worry about that pesky raccoon getting into their garbage. We were prepared to trap it.

How successful was our business? Well, we caught every critter we went after–we had a 100% success rate. This meant, of course, that we caught one raccoon. Why didn’t we stick with it? I really couldn’t tell you, but I like to chalk it up to differing management styles. My career as a varmint hunter and a principal owner of a successful business was short-lived, but I know what success (and a full bag of skittles) taste like. So who knows, maybe someday I will once again be struck with the entrepreneurial spirit. But, it’s tough to imagine a better career for me than varmint control.

**Correction: After posting I was reminded that the 3 pm trip to the Candy Store came after rest time rather than prior to it. 

Here we are after our first (and only) great success. Not we are all holding up one finger to note that this is just the first of many critters we intended to catch.

Here we are after our first (and only) great success. Note we are all holding up one finger to signify that this is just the first of many critters we intended to catch.

Living Each Day

New Year’s resolutions are not a new phenomenon. As the sun sets on each year, it is quite common for people to take a step back and reflect the on their past 12 months. That reflection time is often brief and results in a new found dedication to diets, exercise, organization, and other life improvement goals.  This year I took a step beyond making new resolutions.

Rather than just looking back on areas where I fell short, I took time to remember the days I found fulfilling, memorable moments, and all of the fun times I had. I was inspired by a friend (aka I entirely stole his premise) who explained to me at the close of 2014 how he took the time to identify his top 30 days of the year using fulfillment, memorability, and fun as the primary factors.

I found that I had a hard time making a similar list. It is possible that I didn’t dedicate as much time to it as my friend who came up with the exercise while studying for law school finals. Why is it that we are so often struck by great ideas when our focus should be elsewhere? Regardless, I am positive that I had many days and experiences in 2014 that were memorable, fulfilling, and fun; I just couldn’t recall all of them or pinpoint the exact day most occurred. But, I loved the idea of tracking those days and am taking a more thorough approach in 2015.

This year, I am using a very basic spreadsheet to track the most significant event of each of my days whether it be a meeting, a meal shared with friends, or a soccer game on an uncharacteristically warm January day. At the end of the week, I pick a “Best Day.” And from my list of “Best Days of the Week”, I pick a “Best Day of the Month.”  It will be easy come December to pick my “Best Day of 2015” because I will already have it narrowed down to 12 days.

It has been one month since I started this exercise, and already, I am incredibly grateful for it. Here’s why:

  • Even on the most frustrating and tiring days, there is a diamond in the rough. It might be an important lesson learned, but most days it is just the active choice not to let the bad out-shadow the good.
  • If I am ever a key witness in a criminal trial, I will be able to clearly recall my day’s activities. There won’t be any of Serial’s inconsistencies.
  • I love Sundays.

And most importantly, I have been reminded that each day is a gift. The time we have on this earth is precious, and we should use it wisely. Tracking my daily activities has led me to live my life in a more purposeful manner. So, here’s to 2015 and the implementation of pirated ideas!


            That’s All She Wrote

The Truth about being Busy

Everyone is busy. That is a plain and simple truth. I don’t know one person that doesn’t consider them-self busy.The plight of being busy now begins in childhood. Even the youngest of children participate in multiple extra-curricula. By high school, students barely have time to eat dinner with their families, and most are too busy with one activity or another to even consider taking on a part-time job. *As an aside, I worry that many teenagers are missing an important opportunity to develop soft skills and to better prepare themselves to enter the workforce.* Those of us  already in the workforce face a constant barrage of emails and meeting invitations.  But, no matter your age or employment status, each of us is living life, and life has a way of being busy.

We are a society of multi-tasking, over-committers. And what’s even worse, it seems that many people seem to glorify being busy. I think we all know someone who attach some self-importance to being busy. They are the individuals who will spend an entire conversation meticulously telling you either everything they have to do or everything they have just accomplished. Precious moments that could be spent exchanging ideas are wasted on recitations of to-do lists.

I will admit with some embarrassment that there are times that I have been that person talking about my schedule. I don’t feel that being busy elevates me either personally or professionally. In fact on some days, I really begrudge being busy. But, I remember a time shortly after I started working that I would have given anything to have a way to fill my evenings. So on most days, I am grateful to have what I consider a full life, but a full life doesn’t necessarily have to mean a busy life.

A quote that is often attributed to Socrates reads, “beware the bareness of a busy life.” Now, I am unsure of whether Socrates ever said that, but since it is on the internet, I assume it must be true… Regardless of the statement’s origin, it puts forth a sentiment that I entirely subscribe to. A person whose days are full might have a very empty life.

I was especially struck by the distinction between a busy and a full life a few weeks ago while visiting a dear relative who has been a member of a monastery for more than 60 years. The members of this community do not have “busy” lives by modern standards yet their hearts and days seem very full.

Maybe your busyness is fulfilling and life giving, but maybe it isn’t. At the end of the day, I think that as a society we should stop the glorification of “busy.”


            That’s All She Wrote

On New Beginnings

I moved to a small town in my home state and started my first ever, full-time job about a week after my college graduation. I had been so overjoyed to find a job (note this post where I admit to majoring in Political Philosophy and Latin) just a few hours away from home that I had never paused to consider it might be difficult to make new friends or get involved in the community. Looking back, I am grateful that I didn’t because if I had, I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to move.

The first few months were hard. I had gone from living in a sorority house full of friends always on hand to living alone in just one short week. I had spent much of my senior year envisioning what I would do if I had a free evening only to find that free evenings could be awfully hard to fill. The hours from 5pm to 11pm loomed in front of me seeming like an eternity. I had no idea how to go about meeting people and making friends. I was petrified. My office had a few young people, but they were all either married or engaged. In fact, nearly everyone I met seemed to be married, engaged, or in a serious relationship. I would have given anything just to have someone to go to lunch with me.

There were a few benefits to having no local friends. I saved a ton of money; visited home often and both got to know my brother’s girlfriend who later became my sister-in-law and spend time with my grandpa before he passed away; and I learned how beautiful it is to be and to have friends. I will forever be thankful for those long distance friends that spent endless hours on the phone with me both commiserating and assuring me that things would get better, and for my family who always reminded me of all that was good and put up with a fair amount of tears.

As summer turned to fall, I slowly started to make friends thanks to weekend work events and an invitation to play on a volleyball team (“Life in the ‘C’ League” post to come). But, I learned an important lesson along the way—life is what you make it. My summer of mourning became a fall of activity. My tears dried up along with the leaves, and I started building the life I had envisioned. I joined every organization I had an interest in, overcame my fear of arriving at events alone, and I worked hard. I often like to compare my shift in attitude to one of my favorite children’s book, Peter Pan. In the summer, I was convinced that Peter was right when he told Wendy, “don’t grow up it’s a trap,” but by fall I had decided that his comment that “to live would be an awfully big adventure” was  far more accurate.

Now, I am confident that I could start over again, and maybe someday I will. My advice to recent college graduates, or really anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation would be as follows:

  •  Make your home comfortable: You live there now, and whether it is a tiny, loft apartment or a five bedroom house, you deserve to have a happy place to call home.
  •  Get internet or television: Don’t cut yourself off from the outside world. I am not suggesting that you buy the fastest internet or the most extensive cable package, but money spent on basic cable or internet is money well spent. You might be spending a few more evenings at home, and why not make that time more enjoyable? Besides, people bond over television. You might meet somebody you could invite over to watch an awards ceremony or to indulge in a Netflix binge. Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge?
  • Join a gym: You might meet people there, or you might not. Regardless, working out is a great way to beat the blues.
  • Moreover, be a joiner: Find a group the suits your interests and join it. Organizations are always looking for new members.
  • Be an asker: Do you like going out for drinks or grabbing lunch? Invite people to do those things with you. Sure, they might say no, but maybe they will put forth a counter offer.
  • Married people need friends too: I made the mistake of thinking that anyone in a relationship wouldn’t be interested in being friends with somebody that was single. That is ridiculous. Just because you don’t have the same relationship status doesn’t mean you don’t have all sorts of other things in common.
  • Push your limits: I spent a lot of time just waiting for my situation to change on its own, but that just isn’t how life works. We are in control of our own lives, and sometimes that is uncomfortable. But you never know, extending an invite to a new acquaintance or attending that event where you don’t know anyone could be a game changer

This year marks my third fall. My junior year in the real world has already been markedly full with family (I am now an aunt!), friends both new and old, and graduate school classes. And, one day a few weeks ago, three different people invited me to lunch. New beginnings are difficult, but Peter was right—to live is an awfully big adventure.

That’s All She Wrote

Flat Tires: The first item in a series of things I know nothing about

I found myself on the side of the interstate with a flat tire on a bitterly cold evening last November. As you might imagine, the whole ordeal was fairly unpleasant. I have assembled a few worthwhile tips for others who find themselves, or would like to avoid finding themselves, in a similar situation.

  • Proper Rotation: First and foremost, rotate your tires every other oil change. This is (apparently) vital. The necessity of tire rotation very well might be common knowledge, but I managed to obtain various degrees and numerous other life skills without hide nor hair of tire rotation. I assumed that tires wore evenly. In fact, I still don’t really understand why they wear differently. Physics. Email me if you know because I doubt I will take the time to look it up. I have adopted the “Just Do It” motto when it comes to proper tire rotation.
  • Capable Travel Companions: If you don’t rotate your tires, make sure to choose your travel companions wisely. Consider only traveling with friends who are capable of putting on a spare tire in case of a flat. Fortunately for me, I was traveling with someone who pragmatically changed my tire while I held back tears and called my dad. You will, of course, be indebted to this friend for life, and should rehearse telling the “flat tire” anecdote. It is absolutely vital that you do this individual justice while recounting his or her heroic endeavors. Additionally, it is worth noting that just being male does not ensure the ability to change a tire.
  • New Skill: Like traveling alone? I too understand the call to the open road. To be more accurate, I realize travel companions are not always an option. I suppose that it might not be a bad idea to learn how to change your very own tire. That being said, I have no intention of acquiring this skill. I know my limitations. If I were to change my tire, it would only result in necessary angst over whether or not my tire is about to fall off of my vehicle.
  • AAA: Rather than learning how to put on the ol’ spare, I opted to subscribe to AAA. Membership is the only sure fire way to ensure that the need to utilize its services never arises. However, cancellation of your membership will likely result in immediate vehicular complications.
  • Roll the Dice: How likely are you to actually get a flat tire? Short on cash–doubtful it will happen to you? Then by all means, take your chances.

Take my advice with a grain of salt because, as the title notes, flat tires are just one of the many things I know nothing about.


            That’s All She Wrote

A Latin Lesson

Had I waited until I was in my twenties to attend college, I likely would have chosen a more practical course of study. I may have become an engineer, an accountant, or majored in business administration. But instead, I was eighteen and chose to study Latin and Political Philosophy. Upon learning this, it is clear that people often teeter between thinking I am a high-brow intellectual or a raving idiot. I like to think I fall somewhere in between. Regardless, there is almost always a joke made about how useless Latin is in 2014.  The funny this is, Latin is actually fairly useful. Well, it is at the very least more useful than Political Philosophy…

Latin crops up quite often in our daily vernacular, but our use of it is sloppy at best. There was a time when all schoolchildren studied Latin, but as that is no longer the case, most people don’t realize that they are misusing Latin words. For example, have you ever referred you yourself as an “alum” or to your group of friends as “alums” of an institution? I hear intelligent people do it all the time. Guess what, you are not an alum. Look it up–Webster’s Dictionary defines alum as, “a potassium aluminum sulfate.” Guilty of this mistake? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. See herehere, and here for just a few news stories that used either “alum” or “alums” in their headlines in the past twelve hours.

To avoid this mistake, keep the below in mind:

  • Alumnus = one man
  • Alumna = one woman
  • Alumni = group of men
  • Alumnae = group of women (pronounced like alumni)
  • Alumni = group of men and women

Whether or not you care, now you know.


That’s All She Wrote

Daily Opportunities

I have a job where I have the opportunity to be both yelled at by people who are frustrated and cried to by people who are desperate. And, I promise that I am not being facetious in my use of the word opportunity. These interactions have not only opened my eyes to the real struggles that so many people grapple with, but they have also helped me realize the type of person that I want to be.

There are two types of people in this world those with real problems and those with fake problems. Each day when I awake and am safe, warm, and know that I will be able to eat, I am grateful that I fall into the latter category. I am privileged that I am faced with the annoyance of having to complete my homework for grad-school, the challenge of finding time to do basic household chores, and the looming fear of always being single.  My issues seem so petty and small when I am talking to people who in pained voices tell me about how they are losing their homes, jobs, or children. It is true that these people might be the catalyst for their own problems, but that fact is really only indicative of other, real problems lurking beneath the surface.

I am often blamed, implored upon, and taken to task on how to best solve challenges that generally are far beyond any help that I am able to give. After a year of being on the receiving end, I have decided that, no matter the situation, there is a basic three-step approach that can be applied to any social interaction.

  • Listen: How often do we allow ourselves to be distracted when friends, family, new acquaintances, or colleagues are trying to relay information to us? I am embarrassed to admit that I used to promptly forget peoples’ names after being introduced.  But in the past year, I have been forced to be an active listener, and for that, I am grateful.  Sometimes all people need is somebody to listen to them and be able to say, “I am so sorry. This sounds like a really challenging situation.” Listening to complete strangers all day long has led me to truly listen when I interact with those people I do know well and actually listening has deepened my relationships.
  • Be Kind: There is very little to be gained in life by being rude or short with people. I have never once felt good about myself after being snarky or snapping at someone. However, I have been proud of myself when I have been patient or bit my tongue when I wanted to be rude or short. Certainly, I stand up for myself if need be, but I try to avoid being petty. There are three areas in which we can be kind: thoughts, words, and actions. Sometimes in life you have to fake it until you make it. I am not suggesting being insincere, but if you choose to be kind in words and actions, kind thoughts will follow. The being is in the             becoming.  Choosing to be kind has brought me peace. Being on the receiving end of rude behavior only reinforces to me that I don’t want to be burdened by that type of behavior.
  • Be Honest: Honesty is the best policy, and honest responses should be delivered with sincerity. I am sure there is something behind the saying, “cheaters never prosper,” but more than that, I want people to tell me the truth. I don’t want to give people false hope, but rather, I want to help in whatever way I can. Sometimes the only way that I can be helpful is by saying, “I am so sorry but this is not something that I am going to be able to help you with.” We should all be honest and not just with others, we also need to be honest with ourselves. The alternative is being dishonest. And, who wants to be known as dishonest?

Taped to my computer on a very professional pink sticky note, I have written a Charles Dickens quote that reads; “have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” It serves as a daily reminder to listen, to be patient, and to be kind. It describes the person I want to be not just at work but at all times.


That’s All She Wrote

100 Fewer Friends

Today I have 100 fewer friends, and I am apathetic about the loss. In fact if I am being entirely honest, I feel freer, lighter, and even a little relieved. I realized a while back that a large portion of my “friends” on Facebook are virtually strangers to me—or, I suppose it is more apt to describe them as “virtual” strangers. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I was bombarded by engagement announcements, wedding photos, new babies, new puppies, vacations, funerals, and an assortment of other major life events. Facebook was the sole reason that I was cognizant of these passing occasions. Although generally intrigued by the onslaught of personal information, I found one of the three scenarios to be true: the news had already been shared with me in a more personal manner, I was entirely disinterested, or the updates inspired me to be either judgmental or jealous. At best, it was old news, and at worst, Facebook was making me a small person.

Since I seem to be continually on a self-improvement kick (out of sheer necessity), I took a thirty-day hiatus from Facebook and reflected on what it means to be and have a friend. Our Facebook friend lists are deep and generally include acquaintances from high school, floor-mates from college, and fellow conference attendees from our post-grad lives. But, are these people really our friends? I think that we can all agree that they are not. Friendship is far more than liking flattering photos and remembering to wish people well on their birthdays.

Most of us have a best friend. Some of us are lucky enough to have a handful of close friends that can be entirely relied upon: the childhood friend who knows your entire family and the name of every pet you’ve ever had in chronological order, a smattering of college friends who stuck by your side during both toga parties and late night study sessions, and of course, the friends you make after college who help you navigate your way through adulthood (I am sure that there are other types of friends but this is as far as I have gotten in life). No matter the stage of life they were acquired, my friends are the people that I have laughed with and whose shoulders I have cried on (only the truest of friends love you enough not to complain about mascara stains and runny noses—this is doubly true if you are a female crying to your male friends). They are the people that I have stayed up all night with talking about both everything and nothing at the same time. They are also the people with whom I have been silent. I know my friends’ hopes, their business schemes, and how they plan to make a living if magically transported back to the 14th century (I plan to marry but have some concerns about being freakishly tall). Most importantly, my friends are the people I would do anything for and the people I could ask anything of. It is almost an abuse of rhetoric to use the same word to describe both the individuals to whom we bare our souls and the folks who know little beyond what is included in our “about” section on Facebook. But, thus is life, and I suppose there are more significant battles waiting to be fought.

At the end of my 30 days (and after being mildly chided by a friend who I do not get to see on a daily basis), I reinstalled the Facebook app on my phone. I recognize that it can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away, but I decided that I do not need to keep up with people to whom I never talk or who were at the height of our relationships barely acquaintances. Society’s definition of friend might not be as lofty as Aristotle’s (see the Nicomachean Ethics or read a summary of it on the internet), but I think that, at the very least, I should only apply the term to individuals whose successes bring me joy and whose sorrows I am able to mourn. So, today I have 100 fewer “friends.” Do all of my current friends fit my qualifications? Probably not, but I got tired of being on Facebook.


            That’s All She Wrote