About friendships. Real world (physical) and virtual.
I am going to be honest with you. In the phase of life and the era that I live in, it is increasingly difficult for me to hang out with friends. One-off shopping trips (with an agenda) are okay, but I have observed that I feel less inclined to meet my friends regularly. If someone is visiting the city after years/months, a ‘hi’ meetup happens. (Even that is not happening with one of my college-mates. Since over a year, we keep missing each other by a whisker – in two different countries! But we both know it doesn’t really affect the friendship we have.)
No serious day out/night out plans. I think I am becoming more introverted than I was. I don’t feel like going on group tours or double dates – not that I have been on one ever.
Making new real world friends now seems like a daunting task to me. I usually maintain a ‘hello-hi’ equation with new people my age I meet.
Now-a-days, I have so many things lined up in my personal and professional life that taking out time for random outings with friends doesn’t happen. They say, it is a matter of priorities, well it is!
Meetups don’t figure high on my list. I have had enough as play-dates in school time.
This doesn’t mean I am a bad friend. (At least I think so. 😛 More on what kind of a friend I am, later…)
That brings me to virtual friendships. I am all for them.
I am active on social media 24×7. I love talking to people, knowing what they are up to in their lives. Sometimes I feel happy for them, sometimes a tad bit jealous. Just like in physical world friendships.
The best thing about virtual friendships is that the age bar seems to fade – I have friends from all age groups – significantly younger and older than me.
I can talk to everybody between cooking meals, at the late nights I am reading up stuff – basically any hour of the day. I am not required to focus solely on them and vice versa. We can be doing our chores and talking at the same time – this helps – rather than sitting in a physical cafeteria and not even looking anywhere else lest we appear bad mannered.
Virtual friendships often lead to conversations we might perhaps not have in person. This is their beauty.
I do not agree with the views that we are becoming more reclusive because of social media. I think we are making more meaningful friendships, with a more diverse group – which is difficult to achieve with the conventional physical world friendships.
Of course, when a friend is in need – physical and/or virtual – we all take efforts to help out or at least offer support.