Friend Request

Regular readers of my blog or followers of my life will know how many times I have moved* and the features that has brought to my life as I write here:

Since I first moved when I was three, and then again shortly after that when I was six, I’ve been used to completely relocating my life from an early age. As such, I no longer fear it; this was definitely convenient when moving to university, and then on subsequent career moves. A number of people I know commented on how difficult they had found the move, many of whom had moved away from a close-knit group of lifelong friends.

As you may have expected from the title of this entry, the topic of this conversation is friends. Another side effect that has grown from my childhood has been the speed at which I would make friends.** Moving a lot and going on a lot of short-term camping holidays meant that I would often encounter large groups of new people, who would become my friends.

Facebook has since shifted the meaning of the word, shading it in a manner that counteracts the point of this comment, with people having “friends” who they don’t necessarily like or choose to consider friends in any other situation. Think about it – if you were in a room with all of your Facebook friends, just how many would you actually talk to?

My upbringing altered the way I think of friends the other way. It transpires that I am very quick to call people “friends” – much quicker than my girlfriend, say.

I know why this is – because I would move a lot, and didn’t have the time to have made long histories with people – but I don’t know what effect it has on me. It probably means that I am open to be more familiar with people quite early on, but then I imagine that freedom will help the other person open up. Maybe friendships form after one person lets the other in. Maybe it’s a semi-concious act. I’m not sure.

This whole post came out of the forthcoming episode of Fool Us this Saturday at 9pm on ITV, and that the fantastic Morgan and West will be attempting to fool the fantastic Penn and Teller. Really you should watch it – I am a big fan of theirs and am excited to see it myself (although will have to catch up on it afterwards as I’ll be seeing Derren Brown’s Svengali that night).

But in talking about it, I’ve been saying, “My friends are on it.” Perhaps its just because it’s notably quicker than saying, “Some great magicians I met and saw in Edinburgh two years ago and whom I have since shared correspendence with are on it.” Maybe it’s Twitter’s concision-forcing that’s made me do it too.

But I know that I would have said the same beforehand.

* According to primitive counting measures, officially Many.

** To paraphrase Smack the Pony, I made my best friend from a shoe. Very fast.

Friend Request

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