There was a time when I had only five friends, one best friend, one close friend, one ‘emergency’ friend. Two acquaintances.
Today, I have 368 friends, and that’s just on Facebook. I am also lonelier than I have ever been in my life.
I turned 26 a few weeks back and I had so many messages on all sorts of networks and unlike all the years gone by, this year I painstakingly answered every one of those. Not just a mass thank you. BUT…something was amiss. Now I am aware of the call rates and how they can burn a hole in one’s pocket, so I understand the friends who are abroad resorting to just messaging me. BUT…Here’s a surprising statistic - I got the maximum number of calls from people who are not in the same country as I am and maximum number of messages from people who live in the same city.
This got me thinking. Have relationships become so hollow that we cannot pick up the phone and call someone and wish them? The call barely costs anything so I know it’s not about the money. It’s all about the effort. Are we no longer worth the effort? A few years back, I did not even know so many people’s birthday, today my faithful Facebook reminds me every day.
A few years back, I had to rely on my memory to remember an important date. And my memory almost never failed me, because every friend’s birthday was an occasion. A celebration. Now, it’s a notification.
I got a call from a profound friend on my birthday. The clock had not struck 12 then. I knew we were in different time zones, it was late for her already. I heard her voice over the phone, it was my first birthday wish. And just like that tears welled up in my eyes. I longed for that closeness we shared.
Those once a month evenings we had, where we filled each other on all details called life. Just to hear the sound of her voice, the fact that we don’t chat every day and we don’t share stuff everyday but I know in my heart that on that one day, once a year, she will stay up. Because I am worth it. Because our friendship is worth it.
As another year bites the dust, I sincerely wish, ‘May the requirements of the Internet package on my smart phone be inversely proportional to the number of REAL friends I make’.