In this age of social media, we toss about the term BFF (Best Friends Forever) pretty casually.

Many friendships aren’t of the “forever” variety, however, and have a shelf life even though Facebook makes it possible to artificially extend that shelf life and let us pretend we still have some sort of connection.

Some friendships are only of the 30 minute variety – someone you meet briefly and really click with but there isn’t the possibility of anything more.

For example, a couple of summers ago I was at a park and couldn’t help but initiate a conversation with another mother there who was wearing capris in the exact length and style I had been looking for.

She told me where she bought them and we chatted effortlessly for about a half hour, as if we were old friends, and we laughed and had a good time. I almost asked her if she’s on Facebook but refrained and gracefully submitted to the 30 minute shelf life.

Another 30 minutes friendship I vividly recall was at the end of my senior year of college.

I ran into a student who had taken an English class with me that semester. We hardly spoke to each other while we were students in class together. But this time, as we stood on the library mall on campus, we had a 30 minute or so conversation that was deep and we really clicked.

There was no email or Facebook then so at the end of the conversation I knew that our friendship was only meant to be a 30 minute one.

Except I just cheated…after typing that I googled him (his name is unusual and I hadn’t forgotten it) and see that he has a doctorate in psychology and has a practice a couple of hours from here.

See? Thanks to Google and social media sites, it’s possible to both resurrect old friendships (including ones that shouldn’t be resurrected) as well as artificially extend the shelf life of friendships that would have naturally ended.

I’m content letting him remain in the 30 minute category, however.

The nice thing about a life peppered with the occasional 30 minute friendship is that these friendships help remind you to be thankful for the friends that actually are of the “forever” variety.


Filed under: Friendship


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