When I worked at a call center years ago, we all had computers with internet access at our desks and communicated through MSN Messenger for work purposes and fun. There were 3 floors and each floor had a number of departments. At most times we would have a few chat windows open trying our best to beat the monotony of sending canned responses to customers who were also being serviced through instant messenger. This would continue after work too. We would get home and instant message each other about BS. The weird thing was that once someone would quit, get fired or move departments the chatting would end pretty soon after. You’d almost become strangers. You would no longer IM at work or IM at home and eventually lose all contact. It was like once there was a little space put between you, that would be the beginning of the end.
It’s like a natural instinct to not give any attention to someone who is not benefitting you or who is not in your regular environment. Something tells your mind that if you haven’t seen or communicated with someone for a decent amount of time then they must not be important so forget about them. “If I don’t see you it must mean I don’t need to think about you”. Humans are all about conserving energy and resources.
Even with long time friends I’ve seen them drop off completely or to a point where the friendship is holding on by obligation. No one wants to do anything they don’t have to do especially if it doesn’t benefit them. And why would they? I think the issue is that there’s a belief in our culture that certain people should have a regular role in our lives no matter what. The expectations and beliefs keep people in contact. It can get pretty pathetic after a while. People can’t admit or believe that they don’t really care about you. It makes them feel like a shitty person. But the actions or lack of action says it all.
Old time friends and acquaintances are all great when you see them face to face. They get an overpowering rush to say kind words and bring about a sense of camaraderie. The embrace is fleeting though once you disappear from each others sight.
To date I have no contact whatsoever with anyone from that call center. They were the bulk of my IM list at that time and many were in my phone contacts. I don’t play a role anymore in my group of friends either since they are all into different ways of life. They don’t need to see me. So I guess “out of sight out of mind” isn’t really something you can hold against someone. It’s just part of life. Unfortunately, you have to learn about it the hard way.