Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Delivering the news

Today, I received bad news from one friend and good news from another.  I won't go into details about the news, because although I'm certainly moved by both announcements, that's not what this is post is about.  Rather, I want to tell you how they shared the news with me. 

Bad News Friend called me shortly after I got home from work.  She's one of the few people I regularly converse with on the phone, and pretty much the only person I know (besides my mom) who does not have a Facebook or a Twitter.  I wasn't all that alarmed when she called, but my heart sank when she conveyed her less-than-happy news of the day.  I was glad she called me because I want to be there for her.  I only wish I could do more to help her in this difficult time.

Good News Friend texted me just an hour or so ago.  Her announcement is life-changing and very very exciting.  I'm looking forward to what lies ahead of her in the wake of this news, and though we've only been friends a short while, I feel like she's one of those that will be around for a long time. I'm happy for her, and even happier that she texted me to share the news with me. 

The key thing here is that neither of these announcements was delivered to me by Facebook or any other form of social media.  Sure, texting might be a little impersonal, but if you knew Good News Friend, you'd know texting is just her style.  For as long as I've known her, she's needed a texting plan far worse than she needed any airtime.  Texts are OK by me. 

In the last few years, I've learned about many friends' big life moments via Facebook.  Now, I'm not opposed to Facebook announcements.  In fact, it's a pretty good way to share news with many.  The only time I have a problem is when someone I consider a close friend makes an announcement that way.  And a few in my life have.  It certainly made me evaluate some of those friendships.  It also made me think about how I do and will deliver my own different life-changing moments.  There will definitely be a hierarchy:

Phone Call --- My VIPs will get a phone call.  This group includes my parents, my brother, a few relatives and about a dozen friends.

Text --- This is my next tier of friends.  I consider them close, but definitely not in the need-to-hear-my-voice kind of way.  This is no insult, rest assured.  This is just the way some friendships are.

E-mail --- This will most likely be a follow up to my phone call and text group with perhaps more detail than I had time to convey in my previous communications.

Facebook/Twitter --- This is where I will go after I've shared my news with those closest to me. 

All of this might take a few days, obviously. But it's important to me that I share important events personally with those I care about most before I shout it from the rooftop (also known as a status update). It's a nod of respect to our relationship and their continued support of me.  That's why the gestures of the aforementioned friends touched me.  It's good to know others feel the same way.

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