When friends move far away, technology helps keep close ties alive

March 19, 2017 — by Muthu Palaniappan and Sophia Zivanic

“I’ll miss you!” Alma Oscarson yelled from the car window as she departed on her way to the airport. Her friend sophomore Shannon Rumsey watched as the car disappeared into the distance, her eyes filling with tears as she waved goodbye to one of her oldest friends.

“I cried when Alma left for Sweden because she and I had a ginger connection,” Rumsey said. “It was something special.”

    After Oscarson left Saratoga last summer, Snapchat has been the main source of her and Rumsey’s communication. The friends snap each other daily and always keep up with the events going on in each other’s lives.

Among so many memories of their friendship, ones that stand out include times they spent  Rumsey’s living room, drinking coffee and laughing at poorly made horror movies like “Ouijia.” The visits occurred almost everyday after school.

“It’s hard because we can’t really do that over Facetime,” Rumsey. “Although we are still taking, there is some lack of connection because video chats can never fully replace talking with someone face to face.”

Rumsey said maintaining this long-distance friendship has been difficult, requiring dedication and persistence. “When we Facetime, we talk as if nothing changed,” Rumsey said. “I know that when I see her in person our connection will be just as strong as it was when she was still living here.”

To reconnect, Rumsey plans on visiting Oscarson next July in Sweden.

    Likewise, sophomore Hannah Yoon still stays in touch with sophomore Santiago Dutro, who moved to Mexico last year.

    Dutro has been friends with Yoon for a year now, but they have known each other since elementary school after meeting in band.

    “I remember that Santi always used to crack jokes in band and we would always laugh about that together,” Yoon said. “Band was one thing that brought us really close because we spent so much time together.”

    Throughout their freshman year, Yoon and Dutro became close friends, always talking to each other in their classes.

Although Dutro now lives south of the border, Yoon still finds ways to stay in touch with him, also mainly through Snapchat. Dutro left Saratoga two weeks before the 2016-2017 school year started.

“In a way, I think that it is easier to stay in touch with Santi now,” Yoon said. “We always find ways to make conversation and we have a Snapchat streak as well.”

Although Yoon admits that at times she misses Dutro a lot, she still believes that they are breaking stereotypes by keeping their friendship alive.

“Long-distance friendships are worth it because it allows you to stay close to people throughout the world,” Yoon said. “We appreciate each other so much more because each of us is going the extra step to keep each other in our lives.”