Spent some time this weekend at a wedding with a lot of very old friends.

Did we first meet in the 90s providing tech support for tree sitters? Or was it in a muddy field in the Netherlands laying fiber optic cable for a 2001 hackers conference? Or at the Other Side Cafe in Boston debating whether it made sense use RDF as the basis for a syndication format and should it still be called RSS at that point? Oh, it was a Perl conference in Japan, that’s right, I had forgotten about that.

Much like Gen X is sometimes the forgotten generation (or at least we feel that way), the generation of us who grew up with an internet that seemed an unalloyed good fall awkwardly into the middle between those who didn’t grow up with it, and those for whom there has always been the whiff of brimstone, greed, and ruin around the place.

Weddings and their ilk are excellent heritage technologies for reconnecting with community but in mingling it was clear that for so many of us who grew up building our community with the help of prosthestics in the form of social software we find ourselves bereft a bit as the tools slow and then all at once collapse.

Discussion turned as it does in such crowds to whether there is a tool to build (“Does Signal have an API?” “Is email the appropriate technology?”), but for me the key insight was something the officiant (the delightful Yoz Grahame) said during the ceremony.

As we get older, and let’s face it we got old, it’s easy to forget what we mean to other people. - Yoz Grahame

My interpretation of that thought, and what I’m going to try to hold on to, is that while I wouldn’t wish the grinding details of my day to day life on anyone, I cherish knowing what’s up with you, with all the obvious inherent the contradiction therein.