• Keeping Friends

Friendship Day: Reach out and touch someone

August 6, 2007 | By | Reply Continue Reading

I couldn’t let the day go by without a post since this is
Friendship Day (see Celebrating Friendship Day). When you are immersed in writing a book about
female friendships, this day—that I might not have thought about or even known
about before—feels like a personal holiday. Ironically, writing the book has left me less time for friends than ever before!

And even though it fell on a Sunday, it was another busy day juggling
home, family and career. There was precious little ME time but I did pause to
reflect on the female friendships past and present that continue to enrich my
life, and I recognized that my cell phone has been a staunch ally in my efforts
to keep in touch with female friends when I don’t have time for face-to-face

Coincidentally, I read a provocative article by Angel
in the Business section of today’s New York Times (also reprinted in
C/Net news.com
) suggesting that cell phone plans may unintentionally strengthen
the bonds between people who share the same provider. I think he’s got a point.
Call me frugal—but I know that when I have a few discretionary minutes to
connect with a friend, I tend to call someone who is in-network rather than
accumulate additional minutes on an out-of-network call. And ironically,
depending on my plan and hers, it may be cheaper to call a friend across the
country than someone across the street.

When my closest friends change cellular plans, there is a
good chance that when my contract is up, I’ll think about migrating to the same
provider to keep my network of “family and friends” in place. Research shows that this effect is more
profound among younger rather than older cell phone users because their use is
more pervasive. In one survey of cell phone trends by Telephia, cell phone use
varied significantly by age. Users between the ages of 18 and 24 averaged 290
calls per month, while those between the ages of 45 and 54 averaged 194 calls.
Frequency of text messaging was almost seven times greater among 13- to
17-year-olds than among those 45- to 54-years-old.

So my dear female friends, if you haven’t heard from me for
a while, don’t take it personally. Perhaps you might want to think about changing your cell phone carrier.

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