When personal touch fades...

POKING FRIENDS

Remember the time when you would meet friends in your apartment complex or the nearby gully every evening? When you would talk for hours and still end up calling each other after reaching home? Sadly, things have changed now. With hectic schedules and a lifestyle dependent on technology, keeping in touch is all about ‘poking’ or ‘tagging’ a person.

We live in a time and age where sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the most important means of communication. A person’s day remains incomplete without logging on to these sites to see who has said what. There is no doubt that these sites have made keeping in touch with friends easier. But have they spoilt the real essence of a friendship? Metrolife speaks to a few people to find out.

According to Aditya Dilip, a student of PESIT, these sites help one maintain friendships rather than spoil them.

“They are extremely helpful if you want to keep in touch with your friends,” he says. “You have a limited number of friends in college so when you go online, you might find people, who are friends of friends. This could eventually lead to a new kind of friendship altogether, a friendship that you would never have imagined in the first place,” he adds.

“Once I made a new friend at a friend’s birthday party. Later, we got to know each other better thanks to Facebook. So there are more positives than negatives,” he reasons.
However, Jude Gomes, a marketing executive, has a contradicting viewpoint. “It’s no longer about personal touch. Gone are the days when friends would catch up often. Now it’s all about meeting each other on Facebook. Old friends don’t bother to meet anymore,” he avers.

Jude also feels nothing can substitute a face-to-face conversation. “You may think you have found good friends through Facebook and that you are in touch with them but the reality is, you can never know how true people are unless you meet them in person. They may just lie over the phone or while chatting, so how can you assume that they will be good friends to you,” he asks.

People from the earlier generation also feel social networking sites have some disadvantages when it comes to staying connected.

Says Preethi Dugar, a businesswoman, “These days, wedding invitations are sent through SMSes or on Facebook. That’s how light relationships have become,” she cites out the limitations. However, she feels there are many advantages of technology as well. “During my school and college days, we didn’t have an alumni so it was hard to keep in touch with friends. But now thanks to Facebook, we have found each other. And more than anything else, I feel nothing can spoil a relationship. If you want to stay connected, you will do so irrespective of any technological advancements,” she sums up.

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