NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I have a friend with whom I tend to communicate daily. Even though we met just a few months ago -- and not even in person -- I consider him a friend. We share common interests and appear to enjoy one another's company.
But, it's weird, we have been together in the flesh (no jokes from the insecure in their sexuality testosterone-fueled peanut gallery, please) just one time. A few weeks ago for a few hours on a trip I made from NYC to DC. Our friendship takes place, almost exclusively, over email, text message, Twitter and, occasionally, telephone. That's no longer strange; in fact, it's increasingly becoming the norm.
And that's a good thing. I am this flavor of friend with way more people than I was just a few years ago, let alone 10 or 20. Social media, led by Twitter and Facebook (FB), disrupted tech and related spaces, but it also redefined terms such as "friendship." More levels exist and your #bestie could very well be somebody you have never actually met in person.
But there's a creepy downside to this positive outcome.For large numbers of people, the artist formerly known as RIM -- BlackBerry (BBRY) -- started the trend. The CrackBerry addictions many of us had came on the heels of "beepers" making us always accessible. RIM just upped the game with instant email and what would become Messenger. Apple (AAPL) came along and, in concert with the emergence of social media, eerily upped the game. Now, relative to the days when you could not get hold of somebody, we're always accessible. And, even moreso, for many of us, it's always possible for quite a few people -- even complete strangers -- to track our comings, goings and absences. Even without GPS or NSA clearance. That's a somewhat obvious modern world gripe, but I hope to take it a philosophical step or two farther. Last night I texted my friend. He did not reply. That's not unprecedented, but it is odd. So last night -- and this is the creepy part -- I looked to his Twitter account. He hadn't Tweeted for a few hours. Also weird. A few hours later I checked again -- creepy -- and still no Tweets. No replies to my texts either. I woke this morning and same thing -- no Tweets for 16 hours (!) and no replies to my texts.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV