Jan Yager: Does that answer your question?
1Copper: I see. Basically it's just a faster version of the letter?
Jan Yager: It's not just faster but there is more networking than ever before. Certainly pen pals did not have the ability to chat the way people can on the Internet.
POOHMLC1: My friends are dwindling because I am limiting myself to only the very close ones.
Jan Yager: Excellent question. The first step is to redefine friendships to include casual friends. In my book Friendshifts, I give several examples of each kind of friendship, what value it offers and how it differs from the others. You'll see in Friendshifts that casual friendships, especially at work, are important to us but do tend to get less attention than the close or best friendship that are more likely to characterize the school and single years. Furthermore, even the happiest marriage needs all kinds of friendships to keep the relationship from getting boring. It is the casual friendships of the pair that add new info and points of view and those friendships are easier to maintain than close or best friendships.
POOHMLC1: I put so much energy into my close friends that I feel it would a waste of time for a casual friend. But I am really trying to work on the casual friend too. I don't want to limit the people in my life.
Jan Yager: I applaud your efforts to have a full range of friends, but don't be too hard on yourself. In my research the truly busy man and woman today is finding it hard to keep up with their friends, so if you're at least keeping up with the close friends you should applaud yourself. One easy way to keep up with casual friends is to have one or two activities that put you in contact, like sports or volunteering together or a reading group.