For many of the the past 50 years, I have reached out to family and friends. I have telephoned, written letters, sent cards, invited extended family to my home on numerous occasions, organized family reunions, hosted gatherings for friends, put together a variety of group functions, joined and accepted leadership roles and even founded community organizations, and with the advent of the internet I created a variety of internet groups (some designed specifically for extended family, others for friends, others yet around special interests). In addition to e-mail, I have used Facebook, Google+, and Twitter in an attempt to seek out personal socialization in real life outside of the cyberworld.
I did those things because I treasure and value family and friends. And yet, it has been the rare exception throughout all these years that family or friends have reciprocated by reaching out to me.
When I retired, my face to face contact with people diminished exponentially as the years passed. It has been quite some time now, and yet I have continuously tried to initiate real life interpersonal socialization, but, all to no avail with few exceptions. Indeed, it is now extremely rare that friends or family even respond to my suggestions that we get together.
It is with my own personal innermost feelings of frustration that I state, “I may as well be dead and forgotten by family and friends.”
You can see the expression of my dismay in the past few months alone in the Twitter Universe: