One of the things we take for granted since the rise of social media is the ability to simply stay in touch with people. The good old World Wide Web is ubiquitous now, and anyone even remotely tech-savvy – and who has made their peace with giving all their personal details to the Zuck – is capable of keeping up relationships with anyone of a similar attitude from their past regardless of time and distance apart.
It’s worth keeping in mind that this is a whole new thing – it wasn’t very long ago that if someone left the country, or even the state, they were more or less out of the picture, unless you were a keen letter-writer or okay with onerous international phone charges (overseas phone calls used to be crazy expensive. So too were mobile calls, come to think of it).
But all that’s changed now, and I – and you, at a guess – am a node in a network of people who may not have clapped eyes on each other in years but are still interacting on the reg thanks to the evil miracle of Facebook, Twitter, and what have you. It’s weird that it’s normal. Which is a long way of saying that one particular node in my network fired off a metaphorical signal flare to alert a bunch of us that he’d learned something weird about a house we all shared in West Perth, Western Australia, over 20 years ago.