How many times have we said it during this summer alone? To your best friends from high school, to the people who live next door, to an old dance teacher that you run into at a art walk. But do we really mean it? And if we do, what do we expect to talk about? The weather? Local Traffic? New construction? Does "keep in touch" really just mean, "maybe I'll run into you again some day?"
Maybe the burden of contact falls on me, thus meaning the lack of contact is entirely my own fault. The number of business cards I've collected throughout the years and failed to reach out to is ridiculously high, even by my own standards. Perhaps if I overcame the hurdle of sending the first life-update email out, then I'd have more success not losing track of the people in my life.
And what exactly does keeping in touch entail? For my mom and her friends from past days of traveling abroad, it's as simple as sending out an annual Christmas card. For others, it's a scheduled cup of coffee once every year or so, to talk about everything that you've missed in the other person's life. The phrase can convey so much more than a scheduled occurrence though.
Think about all of the people that you didn't keep in touch with. All of the Facebook friends from high school that you'll probably never even speak to again. Sometimes I think that I should feel sad about that. After all, I spent four years navigating small talk and sitting next to people in class who have ended up playing such minor roles in my life, that I'm not even sure they've impacted it at all. I guess "keep in touch" is not necessarily a request, but rather a way of saying, you've made an impact.