I remember reading and writing it in yearbooks; "K.I.T.!!! Keep In Touch!" It was usually written alongside curvy hearts, effervescent smiley faces and our phone numbers (we didn't really have email per se when I was graduating middle and high school). Keeping in touch was par for the course; you had to keep in touch and you had to make sure other people kept in touch with you. But it didn't always work out.
I ponder wistfully on those I've lost touch with who I know I will most likely never see again. Social networking helps - it's a thrill to see faces and exchange information with people from earlier points in your personal history. But often there's a sense of having moved on with your life and, in the moving on, letting go of the people from each phase.
Keeping in touch with family members is entirely different. The push and pull, ebb and flow of how close you actually feel; the sense of obligation that forces you to call at times when you may feel you don't want to utter a word to this or that relative; or the opposite! Sometimes we want to go crawling back to our relatives on our bellies, surrendering, shouting "I give up!" and running full throttle with a white flag in our hands as life seems to attack us from all sides. In those situations, what's called for is restraint of keeping in touch, that is to say, you still must maintain your adulthood and independence and call and write and talk in a way that keeps you connected but not clinging.
There can be dangers to K.I.T. as well. The unknown factor of connecting over the years - either staying in touch with someone you've simply known too long, or reconnecting with someone you think of as one person who is now, well, not at all like that special someone from social studies class oh so many years ago. In the first case scenario, you may be holding onto a relationship or friendship that no longer suits you. Perhaps this relationship is stifling you or keeping you in your cheerleader outfit when you're really ready to cut your hair and don a power suit. Keeping in touch can sometimes feel extremely heavy, like a stone around your neck.