Now that I’m living in my 5th different state, (New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Oregon and Louisiana) I guess I could be considered a serial mover. I’ve relocated a few times in my lifetime so when I see articles like this one it catches my eye.
It turns out that people who move around a lot also tend to see objects and people as somewhat temporary:
As we suspected, we found a similarity between the way people perceive their belongings and the way they view their relationships. People who moved around a lot tended to see their objects (furniture, books, devices, even one’s car) as more disposable. The view that objects are disposable was, in turn, generalized to an attitude that social relationships are disposable as well.
That sounds kind of mean, doesn’t it? If you’ve relocated, it kind of makes you cringe, right? On the other hand, I kind of get it. Not getting too attached to anything or anyone can be a defense mechanism too. It protects us from getting hurt during the next move.
On the other hand, this is the 21st century we’re living in. We’ve never had more tools to keep in touch. Friends and family don’t have to be disposable when they are all on social media. Granted, I’m not as close as I would like to be to some of the folks I don’t live near any longer, but I haven’t just disposed of them. You could argue that we’ve collected quite a diverse group of friends over our moves, let alone the time I spent traveling for work. I love our disparate tribe!
This is an area where technology should have improved things for us, and I believe that in my case, it does. It’s not perfect, but it sure beats trying to write letters and sending them in the mail the way I did the first time I relocated as a teenager. (That didn’t last long) In 2019, if we’ve lost touch with someone it’s because one, or both, parties decided to make that happen. It’s not because you live somewhere else and it’s too hard.
People may come and go from our lives, that’s pretty normal. But distance shouldn’t be the reason you don’t keep in contact. We have tools for that.