Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friends and Strangers

I tap the blue coloured app on my phone and wait a moment before the page refreshes, bringing forth the latest from around the world; giving me glimpses of the feelings and doings of my neighbour next door or an old friend from across the world. Posing and posting, looking and liking, showing (off?) and sharing what they uphold, or want others to think that they uphold.

A couple of notifications which include several invitations to the endless saga of crushing candy, additional likes or comments, yet another viral hashtag, you get the picture, it's nothing exciting.

But wait.

A new friend request.
Or the request for a new friendship?
Perhaps the extension of a friendship?

Sure, har ek friend zaroori hota hai, but what is the use of a facebook friend? And, in a general sense, what does a friendship on facebook mean? These are not new questions, so to speak. What I'm curious about today is exploring the factors that cause one to propose such a "friendship". I present three instances here, based on my most recent experiences.

a) Must you attend the same school, college or university? Maybe. But then would you "friend" those much before or after you? Not, methinks, unless you are in the habit of friending absolute strangers. But then again, why not? Every friendship starts between absolute strangers, and isn't facebook as good as (or better than?) real life?

b) Would it suffice that you are not directly related, but share a relative? Like Chickoo Bhaiya or Cherry Didi (insert the nickname of any other faraway relation or second/third/fourth cousin) who you might have met at some extended family gathering years ago. You don't know anything about them, including their right names. What kind of friendship (facebook or otherwise) would that be? Then again, it could simply be a platform where you may lay the foundation for what may become in time, some sort of bond, no?

c) Sometimes one gets a strange request. From a pet for example, or the joint request from a couple. Is this really how people try to be adorable these days?

We seem to have crossed the point where every connection needs to be validated, extended and acknowledged on facebook. But what (if anything) lies beyond that?

More updates, in the meantime.
I ignored that new request and locked my phone.

1 comment:

  1. hmm, i wonder too what is the point of facebook friendships... i guess it just serves as a stamp of "knowing" someone even though chances are you don't really know them at all!