Valuable connections!

In a previous post titled “The years are numbered”, I wrote about how I was unhappy with the past five months in which I had only worked and not done a lot of things that I wanted to.

I have been trying to change that a lot. I have started music again. I have started exploring again. A creative project however couldn’t be started for the paucity of time.

But, one of the things I couldn’t change was not making new friends regularly.

However, much later, I realised that perhaps making friends will never be the way we know it to be.

I realise that people of my generation will probably only be able to make healthy friendships and connections through social media.

That is because of the way our lives are – busy and disjoint.

Where is the space and time for socialising?

At least, I am struggling to find it.

However, this is not to suggest that even when I do have the time, I would simply sit in front of the computer and chat with my virtual friend from Kalahari.Image

I don’t mean to say that.

What I mean is social media can be a good place to start with. You read a person’s posts, see what he shares, know about what causes he is associated with, and suddenly, there is this natural affinity for him.

You have him in your friend list, but you’ve never had a chat with him. You try and have a conversation and you find out more about this guy. You read his blog, and really connect with what he writes.

One day, as fate would have had it, you need to move to his city. You let him know you are coming. You plan to meet up for dinner at his place; he introduces his family to you. There are his friends present who soon become your friends too. He plays the guitar; you sing and have a lovely evening – better than most evenings spent at your place.

This really happened to me, and this is why I believe how we forge friendships and a relationship is fast changing.

Mostly, it is changing for the good.

Otherwise, how do you explain an elderly man letting a young man from foreign shores, who he knows only through social media, call him “grandpa”?

How would you otherwise explain the long Google hangout sessions that grandpa and grandson have, despite a faltering internet connection, different accents and what not?

How do they still manage to retain the charm of a real relationship?Image

They could be having the same conversations sitting around the fire, and nothing would be different. How could you explain the guilt that grandson feels when he does not write long emails to grandpa for quite some time?

I am at a loss.

Someone I know from the time of “Voices for Damini” campaign is now one of my most valued friends. She is lady of such charm, and dignity. Every day, I learn from her posts, her status updates, her blog posts. The causes she takes up, the twitter activism she does really starts to rub off on you, and you do not realise how and when she has become an inspiration for you.

A blog-friend from America promises she will visit India soon, visit me and chat for a long time.

A friend from Coimbatore travels to Hyderabad just to spend one a half day with someone who he knows only through his blog. Last I knew, they were planning another such trip.Image

Maybe it is fate. Maybe some people are destined to meet, and social media is just an enabler.Image

I do not like that school of thought looking down upon social media as a virtual life for nerds. We have to realise that behind social media, behind every post, every blog, every comment is a breathing, living individual, who is unique, and who wants to connect to you.

In all probability, that person too wants to reach out.

Social media just provides you the platform by rendering useless physical distances, and the rest is up to you.

How you make connections is up to you!  

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15 comments on “Valuable connections!

  1. Harsha says:

    Indeed you are true Subh..Social Media is just a platform and How we carry our connections entirely depends on us.. ;D

  2. Beechmount says:

    Social Medias have their plusses and minuses, and like you indicate, it’s all in how you use it. Today, there are so many social medias that one has to reject most of them. They have become extremely popular amongst teenagers in today’s “busy” world. The question I have is: “Do they provide or create lasting friendships”. Do they accomplish anything other than create a following of ‘virtual’ friends and the proverbial ‘like’ or thumbs ‘up’ or ‘down’ (Facebook?) Creating a sense of “being popular”

    I grew up in a world without TV, computers and yes- even telephones (they came later). We socialized together as friends and acquaintances-doing all kinds of things together. During the course of my youth, some friends became close friends and remained so to this date. It saddens me to say that I only have one left. The rest have walked down the path from which no-one ever returns. I can look back on some very happy times with real people I socialized with in person, rather than some ‘virtual’ friends that one can meet in the ‘virtual’ world.

    For me, blogging became a social media late in my life and I thought this media had a useful purpose, where I could connect with other ‘virtual’ people- people whom I either liked because I thought I had something in common with them, something that we could explore and learn from, or someone to mentor because the person had talents and abilities that only needed a little push to come out of his shell and blossom. How pleasing it has been to watch this.

    The one thing social media accomplishes with remarkable efficacy is connecting people from different cultures and ethnicities around the world. As much as this may create a better understanding of foreign countries and its people, with social medias, it has eliminated the old adage “East is East and West is West and never the twine shall meet”(1) The world and its people are accessible with a few key strokes, at least in a virtual sense. It can, however, also create opposition, racism and hatred. It creates ‘pro and con’ situations that are not always healthy. Like you say, Sub,-it’s all in how you use it.

    Cheers from
    Grandpa

    (1) Rudyard Kipling

    • That is one great observation – that it has rendered redundant the adage “East is East and West is West and never the twine shall meet”.

      Also, what I was trying to say is that it may well start with the virtual, but if given enough opportunities, it may as well boil down to the real. Of course, there is a lot at stake – you meeting someone offline for the first time can be unnerving, and in some cases not recommended.

      But, I don’t know how to put it – it’s all about trust, intuition and sixth sense. It is all about handpicking the good ones from among the suspects. 🙂 Till now, my intuition has worked well for me.

      • Beechmount says:

        On-line dating or searching for a mate on line has become the norm rather than the exception these days. Meeting someone “offline” was the only means I ever had when I was young and it certainly never unnerved me, rather quite the opposite. It was exiting, but then, I was a regular hound dog with a keen sense of smell that got me to hone in on the right ‘possibilities’. Well, my hunting days for any kind of game are long over. I thank God, I don’t have to worry about finding the ‘right’ mate anymore. I must admit, however, that I look back on those ‘hunting’ days with much pleasure and some wondering about those that slipped away. Well, you must know by now,–you can’t win them all.

        Cheers from Grandpa

      • Beechmount says:

        Thanks Sub-but it should read ‘Twain’–not twine–my mistake.

        Cheers from befuddled old grandpa

  3. What a lovely post, and what a wonderful way to describe social media. For people like me who take it for granted, it is a powerful reminder of how important these connections can be. Some of the strongest bonds I share today are with people I have met through this medium, sung along with and had dinner with.

  4. Wow Subh! This was such a heartfelt post. 🙂

    But wait… As grandpa says it has its pros and cons. And in my opinion the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to Social networking. Only a handful of users genuinely make new friends in social networking sites (read facebook). While the others are busy spewing hatred (getting into pointless and endless arguments), seeking unwanted attention and stalking.

    These are the top reasons why I detest social networking sites. I still can’t quit. Its because though outnumbered the social networking sites has people like you.

  5. Great post! I too have found friends (pen-pals too) through the medium of blogging 🙂

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