Social Media and Long-Distance Friendship

After I sent out my first newsletter series (sign up in the sidebar) for Who is Apneet? I got a response from one of my very best friends, Adam. He had some interesting feedback about social media and friendship. Adam writes,

I really enjoy the newsletter and am intrigued by the way you make a narrative of the photos and adventures that... feels like a shared experience, rather than a masturbation with clever quotes. I mean that. I think in social media we’re used to watching a friend through photo streams and feeling left out. Here, I get the sense of seeing Apneet.

I know her yet I find another part of her; sides of Apneet out on the road that I don’t always encounter at home in Brooklyn/Philly. I notice the tattoos differently and I wonder for a bit what “MCMLIV” must mean today, months after the ink was laid. The roman characters have quiet familiarity - history even - as I trace through my mind their first impression on our friend Will. I realize our friends may have links with one another more than just the times we spent living and surviving together, and I’m ignited by the mad curiosities we follow each down different paths.

I believe social media has an element of voyeurism - even when we are "watching" people that we know in real life. Social media is a way of making us feel close to the people, but it can also put those people at a distance and encase them in glass like in a museum. An example of this is when we scroll though our best friend's curated and crafted Instagram feed. We see what they're doing in the day-to-day, but we only see their best versions of their best days.

How do you stay in touch with your friends who aren't geographically near? I like to write letters, Face Time, and make phone dates. If you have something to share, email me at hello@whoisapneet.com to start a conversation. See past Letters to the Editor by clicking here. 

Apneet and Adam
Bar Cat in El Bar, Philadelphia

Above are a couple photos our friend Chris took of Adam and I at our favorite bar when I was in Philly last summer.