Have you ever had that friend that just drifted away? You stopped calling. They stopped calling. Weeks pass and evolve into months. The next thing you know, years pass. When you reflect on the relationship, there were no major fights or arguments, but time creates this sort of distance between you. That distance becomes a larger and larger incentive not to pick up that phone, or send that text. Even worse, when you mount the courage to send that message, it is not returned and your efforts are in vain.
While reconnecting with a close friend recently (it had been years without calling or connecting) we talked about ways to prevent this in the future. Both of us need to commit to calling, texting or emailing each other. It makes it harder that this particular friend is 1,824 miles away so the odds of bumping into each other at the local market is pretty slight.
In order to ensure that we stay connected, we came up with an idea for a website and service for anyone who needs a little help being a better friend.
In the spirit of creating funny domain names, we called it badfriend.com (it is not a real site…yet).
Here is how it would work.
You sign up on the website and identify your friends. Your friends are either already members or you can invite them to the service. There are various levels of connection services that help remind you to send that email or text. You can initiate that conversation through the website or app, and automatic reminders are sent to remind you to connect with your friends. You would have your own email address @badfriend.com and the system would send your friends notice when you were not meeting your requirements as a friend.
If you do not connect regularly you are charged a penalty. However, if you do connect with your friends you earn points. These points enter you into a lottery for cash prizes, similar to the experiment that VW did with speed camera in Sweden.
Relationships are not always easy. Being a good friend takes work. Imagine how amazing it would be to have a website and app managing it all for you and creating the right incentives and penalty.
Until then, it is up to us to make the decision to stay connected, pick up that phone, or send that message.
If it has been a while since you called or connected, you can always start how I initiated my conversation with this friend:
“Hi, this is Carl@badfriend.com, I am sorry for not connecting, lets start again.”
Pick one friend, the one that was once close but time has created distance. It won’t be easy, but pick a day within the next week and connect, it may just be worth it.