Virtual friends vs “real” friends

This morning as I was going through my routine in the kitchen…..and I started thinking…..and I thought, there she goes again…..yes I do have loads of conversations in my head, sometimes I speak out, sometimes, it’s just in the head…..one of the side effects of spending hours together on your own with no adult conversation.

Anyway, oh no, I have forgotten where I was heading……

……people complain, “Oh, I do not have a spare moment, even to think” and I have to say “poor you” when actually (yes, in my head again) I am thinking “how lucky you are”…….I guess bottom line is, the grass is always greener on the other side…..

No, that is not what I was thinking about this morning. My thoughts were on friends. In this era of social media, a new “breed” of friends has emerged, a virtual friend.  Friends made on social media…..

I have 200 odd friends on Facebook but only a handful are actually active. Oh, yes, I do know some people are my silent followers and admirers (by the way, that was a sarcastic remark). I would rather have friends who are open and upfront and interact with me. I keep thinking I should weed out my passive friends but am lazy, will probably do that one of these days. I believe in quality rather than quantity.

No, that was not what was going through my mind either……I was trying to compare “real” friends with virtual friends. Initially,  I thought of doing a table but I decided that would be too tedious to read. The flow would be better if I jotted my thoughts, well, hopefully….

It is interesting to note the meaning of the word “virtual” in the dictionary : “being such in power, force, or effect, though not actually or expressly such”. Contrary to popular belief, virtual friends are always “there” for you in moments of grief and in joy. Words can be really effective. They can make or break you. From personal experience and from what I have seen, messages pour in on social media on every occasion. It does comfort you in times of grief and it makes you feel good on happy occasions. Obviously your real friends can do more than that but I wouldn’t write off virtual friends either.

Well, another thing, (which is quite ironic) your virtual friends probably know you better than your real friends. Some times, social media becomes your ranting ground. I am not saying that it is true of all but there are many people who do that. More and more people are living in nuclear families: some, out of choice, others, due to circumstances. Whilst this might have its pro’s and con’s as with any other situation, one thing that stands out is isolation. This is where social media steps in. So, yes, you do tend to use twitter, facebook or whatever it is to vent your feelings or gloat, as the case may be. Let’s be honest, with a real friend you only reveal as much as you want to unless maybe, if you live with each other.

Real friends (I am using this term to distinguish between the two, for want of a better term) bring in the physical experience….the joy and warmth of a smile or a home-cooked meal. They do wonders for a lonely soul. Yes, your real friends are always there….. they rush to you in your moment of need. However, in reality, everybody has commitments…….it is best not to have expectations. With a virtual friend, all you need is your laptop / phone. There is always somebody around to react to your posts or reply to your query or have a conversation.

I would say a friend is a friend, never mind, virtual or real and if you have a good balance of both, you are one lucky creature!!!

PS: I have started keeping my posts short since I got a request to do so. I hope I am not compromising on the content by doing so.

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