Facebook friend? Nah!

Personal touch

Facebook friend? Nah!

 Jayalakshmi and Priyanka.

Then cellphones came into picture. Soon Facebook and Twitter happened and friendship became lesser in quality and higher in quantity (with some people having thousands of friends on Facebook)! As many advantages as these technological wonders have, there are quite a few limitations too.

Many may argue that networking sites and cellphones help one make new friends and keep in touch with the old ones. But is it really quality friendship? Or just a virtual one? Metrolife finds out.

“Though I have almost 1000 friends on Facebook, I have a few close ones in reality. Every time I think of friends, my school friend Ranjini and college friend Richu come to my mind. I also miss my best friend Jayalakshmi, who is in the USA now,” says Priyanka, an engineer.

“I value friendship a lot as I don’t have cousins and feel friendship is all about sacrifice and compromise.” According to her, Facebook is an important tool to keep in touch with friends and doesn’t really spoil friendship. “I have friends from all over the world on Facebook. However, one disadvantage of social networking sites is that people can make fun of you and your friends on a public platform.”

Bharath Valecha, an entrepreneur and a student development coordinator at Jain College of Engineering, has made many friends on the various forums on Facebook. “We became even closer after meeting up. These days, if you are not on Facebook, it’s almost like you don’t exist. It’s become a status quo,” he quips. However, come what may, he feels true friends would want to meet up regularly. “Facebook is just a medium for one to stay in touch with friends,” he adds.

However, not all agree with this. Sujaya Prabhakar, a nursery school teacher, and Kavitha Jayakaran, a lecturer, have been friends for almost two decades now and have kept in touch with each other without the help of any social networking site. When they first became friends, there were no cellphones around. “We used to call each other from our landlines,” says Kavitha. “But then we would get shouted at if we spoke for a long time, so during holidays, we would actually write letters to each other,” she laughs.

Sujaya adds, “We talk to each other at least two or three times a week and meet up as much as we can. In fact from friends, we have become family now. Kavitha is my 24/7 friend.”

And even today, the two are not on Facebook. They don’t even send messages to each other. “Unless it’s a forward or a joke we want to share,” exclaims Kavitha. Facebook is just “impersonal” according to them. “There is no human touch in Facebook friendship,” says Kavitha while Sujaya adds, “you are forced to make friends out of acquaintances on social networking sites.”

So this Friendship Day, how will you be wishing your friends — meeting, messaging, calling or on Facebook?

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