The people I spoke to several times a day in junior high and high school became the people I spoke to daily, or every other day in college. New people in college became the close friends that I spoke to daily as well. After graduation, many of the daily conversation friends (both those from before college as well as those acquired at school) became the people I now email or talk to once every few months. I still feel close to them, I just don't know every single detail of their life, nor them, mine.
But, unlike most people, despite people moving away and vast differences in life experiences, until recently I still managed to maintain a teenagerism in my relationship with some of my earliest girlfriends. This was only possible through a heavy reliance on the telephone.
Lately, in a change that must be shocking to everyone who knows me, I find that I'm tired of the phone. If I must communicate via long-distance, I prefer email. And over that, I prefer to sit and relax in person.
Keeping up to date on the details of people's lives is very time consuming. I have trouble finding time to keep E completely up to date on my life and staying on top of what is going on in his. To go through the same for multiple friends, many of whom are several hundred miles away has become impossible. In fact, I've actually gotten it wrong a few times recently, by trying to fill in the gaps with what I think makes sense. Turns out, I've grown far enough apart in space, time, and life experiences that I don't know what is going on day-to-day with my closest friends from childhood and my best guess estimate is filled with all sorts of ill-informed conjecture and personal assumptions.
I think it's normal to reach a point where you respect and love your closest friends from childhood but acknowledge that you are not part of the group who knows them best anymore. If you don't live in the same town and see each other on a regular basis, you have to make time for phone calls almost every day, or you just won't have the information you need to understand what is going on in their life, and in particular, how they feel about things.
It's sad to lose the teenager umbilical cord connection to your closest childhood friends. But, it's probably inevitable. And, for me, it's probably been a long time coming. In the last month or so, I've been so busy that I've had to choose between regular phone calls or my running schedule, regular phone calls or wedding planning, regular phone calls or studying, etc. Add that the phone currently represents my confusion over career choices and the stress of wedding orchestration and it should be no surprise that I keep choosing other things over the phone.
So, yeah. I'm finding it bittersweet and liberating to finally be getting over my phone addiction. We'll see if it sticks...I do, after all, have almost two decades of the habit to kick.