I have old contacts on my messenger programs. I have contacts that I haven’t spoken to in three, four, five years. I have one contact that every year or so, I send a message, with a quiet thought about what it means, knowing he never will hear what I’ve said. I have another contact who went missing for over two years, then returned to my attention after that time, only to reattach and become one of my closest friends. Contact lists have become a strange sort of currency for social memory. Some days I’ve looked at an offline contact, wondering how they’re going, thought about that person, and wondered what I’d say to them if they appeared again. Friendships, swaddled in seed cases, waiting for an opportunity to once more bloom. Dormant, not dead.
Today, I learned that Microsoft are shutting down their messenger service, whose name is lost to me. I wonder how many of those seeds will be scattered and lost.