Balderdash and post-millennial narcissism. (we had it before the millennium too, but it was different somehow.)
I’ve been the friend who is called for crises (and only for crises). I’ve been the friend who has no one to call in a crisis because everyone is too busy with this or that. But life is more than this or that, and there is absolutely no excuse not to do something that would obviate all of the apologies and excuses: a two-minute phone call to ask ‘hey, how are you. I have no time right now, but I wanted you to know I was thinking about you.’
Life is choices, and our choices define our priorities. If you don’t have time for that small of a task which would mean the world to your friend, or if you can’t prioritize it above something, anything else, then your life may seriously be out of whack — or maybe that person just isn’t important enough to you to warrant such a small gesture. You would both be better off realizing that now.