Real friends vs. Facebook friends!

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Facebook Friends vs Real Life Friends

“I have 500 Facebook Friends”. “That’s it? I have 700”. Phrases like these are not strange to our ears today. Often we come across people talking, boasting actually, about their Facebook friends. The craziness of Facebook has spread to every corner of the World today. When in the past could anybody have imagined that we’d actually start preferring making friends on the click of a button? What wouldn’t have made sense yesterday is the reality of today. You see people today having more than 500 odd friends on Facebook but in reality stay alone as they have nobody to hang out with. Is it just because man is a ‘social animal’ that everybody gets filled with alacrity with the thought of making new friends (even online as they may be)? Is it the excitement of meeting new people that keeps people going? Or is it just that people need to know what’s going on in everybody’s life so that they can set guidelines for their own? Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure that most of us like to make new friends and socialize around.



But how and when did Facebook fit into all this? Have people become just too lazy to go through the traditional ‘friend making’ process and prefer a more convenient, hassle free and time saving tech-savvy process of Facebook Friendship? We need to ask ourselves some rather important questions. Who are these people whom we actually call ‘friends’? And what is the cost of these ‘friendships’ that we seem to be cultivating day and night, that too with so much effort? Can these online friends actually replace the warmth, love, kindness and support that an actual friend provides? Try something that I am sure most of you wouldn’t have done in a long, long time – ask your friends out for some coffee and keep your phones and tabs away. Indulge in an actual, heart-to-heart conversation. I can guarantee that an interaction like this will feel loads better than having a Facebook chat or a WhatsApp group chat. How are we really oblivious to the fact that these online friends of ours are alienating us from things that really matter – spending a beautiful, interactive dinner with our family, or going out with our actual friends for a fun lunch? Another thing that most of us keep getting stressed about is our pictures on Facebook – whether we visit a hip new coffee shop or are far, far away on vacation we keep worrying about getting perfect shots. And what for? To upload them as soon as possible on Facebook and show off to our friends just what a great time we are having. But are you really having a great time, because in reality you probably spent the entire evening clicking selfies or irritating those with you to click your pictures. Not very ‘friendly’ of you, is it? Tragically it is not about just having friends online anymore, it has somehow become about showing off to your virtual friends too. What other purpose does uploading every other picture on Facebook fulfil, except perhaps harping in front of the entire virtual world how cool and happening your life is? I recently travelled to Goa. And for some reason I couldn’t connect to the internet through my phone throughout my trip. I fretted over it for one complete day and then just gave up. Best decision ever! I realized just how peaceful life becomes when you are not WhatsApping or Facebooking all the time. The tragedy of course is that it took me so many years to realize it. Well, better late than never. Once I found my peace with not being online all the time, I decided to take it step further – No useless pictures, I said. My Second best decision ever. When I came back I sat with my friends and relived my wonderful experience. Those crazy people, who called me to know how my trip was going and then met me afterwards to hear my tales are my real friends – not that semi-stranger who comments ‘Naaiicee’ and ‘nic pic’ on my photos. And that’s when I refused to be enslaved by this whole virtual society conundrum. Because nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to the warmth of human interaction. And we all know that, even if that thought has got lost in the information overload of today!

So if you have unfortunately gotten so lost in the web of Facebook friendship and can’t seem to find your way out, do just one little thing – disconnect. Sure it will be tough at first, but then once you rediscover your friends it will all be worth it. The virtual world is exactly what it claims to be – virtual. Always keep in touch with your actual self, your actual friends, the laughs, the craziness, the love, the stupidity, the warmth, the care, the concern and everything else that come with it. Technology can never come close to replacing all these wonderful emotions. Don’t be naïve enough to think that it can!