Happy Valentine's Day, friends.

The 1085 people in my Global Ghost Town. 

I don't remember much about my A Level Media Studies course. Hell, I was seventeen and full to the brim with other important matters like Tuesday-night cinema visits, learning to drive and crushing on a boy named Ben. The sort of things that really take up space in the brain of a seventeen year old girl. So a lot of stuff that was important in the short-term, like A Level qualifications, took up residence in my head on a strictly “temporarily-to-let” basis. It stuck around a little while, messed the place up a little and then moved on. And I was one of the good students.

Some things, however, moved in to stay, and one of them was the concept of “The Global Village”. This is basically the theory (attributed to Marshal McLuhan) that the world seems smaller now that communication is so easy and so widespread. Now McLuhan came up with the Global Village theory back in 1962 and he shuffled off this mortal coil way back in 1980. I wonder what he'd make of things now? What might he have made of Facebook, Twitter, Skype?

I'm 27 now. Ten years have flown by since the A Levels and my world has both expanded and shrunk. I've moved from home, been to uni, had jobs, got married... all that jazz. And always, just a click or two away, are whole bunches of people I met along the way.

Back when I was in school I cost my parents a fortune in phone bills. Every night I'd be on the phone to some friend or another. I have absolutely no idea what we talked about for so long after sharing classes all day, but talk we did. Talk and laugh. Life was good. When I was in uni, pals were just across the hall and my door was always open, so I was always surrounded by people. But... something got a little lost along the way.

Here are my vital statistics:

Facebook – 134 friends
Twitter – 295 followers
Blog – 554 followers 
(There shall be a celebratory post for hitting the 500+ mark soon)
Phonebook – 102 contacts

While I know there will be overlaps, let's at least agree that:

1085 people. Now there are some people out there who manage this number in Facebook alone, (evidently their global villages are a tad bigger than mine...) but still, it's a pretty big number. But can I say that I have 1085 friends?

Hell, of course not! Can you? Seriously, do a count up of your own stats and ask yourself how many of the number are your friends. Who of them would you call on if your house burned down? Which of them would give you a kidney? How many of them would have more than two words to say to you if you met them on the street?

I wonder a lot about these questions. Of the 1085 of you reading this, some of you might have met me in the flesh and maybe know what I'm like. I'm a reader and a writer at heart. I spend a lot of time in my own company and that's a double edged sword because I'm a lifelong sufferer of depression. I often want to be alone and yet detest my own company. Depression also means that I tend to push... Some of my 1085 will have had experience of this.

The rest of the 1085 will be people whom I've never met. You guys will more than likely be Blog and Twitter followers who've wound up in my number because of something I've written or reviewed. Some will be in the number purely because I like hosting giveaways on my blog, and that's fine, too, because I like sharing my love of books.

But anyway, what did I do with my topic? Oh, there it is, way over there!

*Runs back to the point*

Here's my point. So many of our spheres seem vast. We call more people “friends” than any generation before us, but those friends are little more than profile pictures on a screen. They're the odd status update or “like” when you say something vaguely amusing. They might offer you a “Happy Birthday” via Facebook, but do they send a card? Maybe they wish you well when you announce to the world that you have a job interview, or offer condolences when you share sad news... but do they pick up a phone and talk to you? Do they stop by and put the kettle on? And do you? Do I?

I guess, when it comes down to it, I'd have to admit that I can count my true friends on one hand. If I add my husband and family then it might tip the balance over to two hands. Maybe...

I wanted to write this because it's been on my mind for a while. I'm guilty of letting my world shrink. I've left a lot of people behind me along the way who I miss. I blame myself for this, even though my real buddies reassure me that friendship isn't a one way street.

So... you of the 1085. Today is Valentine's Day. Forget the lovey-dovey couples but for a second and remember that love exists between friends too. Why not share some love with your real friends today? Make a phone call, send a letter (or an email... a proper one) or go and visit someone you've been meaning to see for a while.

Oh, and maybe show this blog some love by leaving a comment sharing your own thoughts!

Love to y'all.



  1. You know, that's a great idea :D And a very happy Valentines day to you! Really enjoyed this post :)

  2. Oh, your comment box is overlapping your buttons so that you can't see them. I'n not sure if it's just my view but I figured I'd give you a heads up :D I had to try this one several times;)

  3. @anime Thanks for the comment and letting me know that you had trouble hitting the comment button. It's a new layout and things seem to go a bit awry at times... I'm considering changing layout again but this one is just so PRETTY!

  4. Happy Valentine's, Laura! I've moved away and relocated so many times that even my closest friends are far away now. It's natural to drift apart when you don't see each other anymore and don't share the same problems, but as long as you truly love each other every time you meet the connection springs back in place :)

  5. @kara-karina

    Thanks for the uplifting comment and the Valentine's Day wishes. Have yourself a great day! x

  6. Such an interesting post Laura, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and can honestly say that I have 7 friends not including my boyfriend and family... But you know, I'm happy about that! I love my friends and don't need those who have dumped me along the way... I know I dumped some of them but still... These 7 are my bestest.
    Also thank you for being so open and honest about your depression, it's touching, I suffer from time to time, I used to suffer with it badly but ive reached a happier place now thankfully... I hope you are happy as well, even if it's not all the time


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