Today I was going up in lift after dropping my son off at school. I was in the lift with another lady, since our building has 50 floors it was quite a bit of a journey so we stood looking at each other and then in our mobiles rather awkwardly. On the 4th floor another lady joined in and looked at me and said ” Hey Preeta, good morning. Heard that your son read the story exceptionally well”. After hearing my name the first lady looked at me and said, ” Hi I am Mala . I think we keep chatting on whats app”. We exchanged greetings and I got off at my floor. I was the first one to get off.
After getting off I started realizing the hypocrisy of everything around us. I keep thinking I am extremely social but in that lift two ladies facing each other and we couldn’t even think of a single thing to say to each other. However online we have been talking to each other through whats app groups. We have chatted on numerous occasions without really knowing each other or seeing each other. Is it that we are more comfortable talking to people on social media and when we meet each other face to face we go blank?
What is it about the facelessness of being on social media which triggers this in us? In this digitized world are we forgetting how to make small chat with people face to face? Of course there are benefits of being connected to each other through digital world. I personally am a part of multiple facebook and whats app groups and have connected with multiple people across world. This has helped me get information and make friends too. But somewhere I feel I live in two separate world at time- one is the online world and other is this offline world. This chance encounter in the lift made me realize that despite of having many friends and followers in the online world I might not be as social as I would like to consider myself. Moreover even friends which I have made over my lifetime are now restricted to digital contacts. We whats app on birthdays and anniversaries. We like each other’s photos and status on facebook and twitter but we rarely get time to meet each other.
I have decided that I am going to follow all the principles of friendship in social media to real life as well. I am going to send friend’s request everyone personally, poke them and call them when they don’t talk. Appreciate friends face to face online (liking ) and hopefully my real life friendships will be as rocking as digital ones.