Having thousands of friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and Instagram, and several fans on Snapchat – that’s what friendships in our lives have reduced to.
First thing we do waking up in the morning – before even going to the loo, is checking our phones. And don’t deny it – most of us even take our phones to the loo to tap through Instagram stories of a certain someone who we like, that person we hate, and some celebrities who do not know we exist.
Doctors say it’s become an addiction, an illness – social media. And perhaps it may even not be, maybe the doctors are over exaggerating, we tell our-self, continuing to react to the gazillionth post on someone’s close-up of a Mehendi ceremony who you have met maybe a decade ago.
We love nostalgia, don’t we? Sitting and re-tweeting all about how the ’90s were fabulous time and we played with our school friends, society friends, tuition class friends, and cousins whenever we would get the time. Heck, I remember being that scrawny kid in school who loved to play chess and even began getting good at it – until that ‘Yahoo! Messenger’ came into my life with its cheerful yellow bald face and cool AF avatars. So now I sit tweeting about all of this, without reacting to my 4 year old niece to play with her or receiving call from any friends.
Hey! It’s important to update my status! I was watching the first day first show of Ranveer Singh’s film with that hot guy! Gotta let the world know!
Oh, the world is a disappointment, and the government isn’t doing its job and I now look at the world with prejudice and disdain so I’m gonna tweet my opinion which will be scrolled off my someone else. But hey! I got 200 RT’s, that means I’m important, right?
But, that’s how we roll lately. Who cares about anyone else when we can look smashing, visit glamorous places with people we never connected with, and showed the world how cool we were.
We would fight about ‘kiski den hai’ in langdi, and now it’s about everything that’s virtual. It’s unfathomable that conversations today start with “tune uski Insta story dekhi kya? So wanna be!” and then put up a story of our own.
Friendship is now to be shown by likes, tags and social media mentions. Having more friends means you’re friendly, cool, the social media star! And we’ve set that as a benchmark – the more the friends and followers, the more friendly you are!
So what it you don’t know that person whose wedding picture you liked, so what if that person who did not like went to Rome for a holiday and you liked their picture anyway, so what if you have no real person to talk to when you’ve had a fight at home or someone at your job bullied you so much you had a breakdown? Who needs a friend when you got 8K followers, right?
We really have traded friends for a status on social media. When mom complains at the dinner table about leaving your phone aside, putting up a status with a picture of her and tagging her does the trick and viola! She and dad are on the phone next day on the dinner table too!
But when there’s a heartbreak, when you’re an utter and complete mess at 3 am, and you’re sitting and hunting some ice cream in the fridge then but have no-one to talk to – that’s when it dawns. You don’t have real friends. It’s friendship of convenience that you’re navigating though in your life.
Some self-obsessed, yet deeply lonely people finding peace each other’s company – mostly colleagues or someone you met over an app, living though same situations at work or home. You’re bonding over vodka shots, joints, and tagging each other on weekend posts and forget about it as Monday comes. Until next Friday, that is.
So let’s face it – we do not have friends, we have social media acquaintances. And we all see the world through Instagram and Snapchat filters, refusing to lose sight of our phone screens down and see our real selves – even in the mirror of a fancy pub washroom where taking a selfie is a priority, but inviting that old friend who you absolutely adore is not.
And that friend’s name will wait patiently in your phonebook, until you decide to call them and have a hearty chat that lasts hours. And then again, the weekend approaches, and you wonder – are these friendships forever?
[Featured photo credits: YRF]