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Friendships, relationships, cannot survive unless we make the effort to ‘be there’ for them in all their ups and downs. Communicating on social media is just not good enough.
Living in an ever evolving technological era and with abundant tools for communication available to everyone – like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype, Viber, Gtalk, and what not; I still stand here losing my close friend because of “no real communication”.
When we met at work 11 years ago, we clicked like a house on fire. We were very different in many aspects, quite the opposite of each other, and yet, we had such compatibility that we could walk into each other’s house at any time of day, and bare our hearts to each other. Talk from dawn to dusk. In fact, we married around the same time, and had our babies around the same time too. We always had so many things to talk about, and never got bored of each other’s company.
She was the more expressive one between the two of us. She used to get mad at me, if I didn’t call up to wish her on her birthday. We had spent many moments on planning how we would watch our kids grow up together, and be there for each other.
In the next few years, she got busy climbing the corporate ladder and I, with my second child. The regular phone calls dwindled to almost one or two calls in a year. Distance started to creep in. We both had an active online life, and we would occasionally agree or disagree to issues that we felt strongly about.
With no real communication and mounting disagreements, misunderstandings started to creep in. It’s not that they didn’t stand a chance to be cleared, but there were no efforts made to communicate or stay in touch. While I completely understand her view from where she stands, I couldn’t stop feeling neglected. I would wake up to see her story updates, the travel diaries, and the good times she’s having with new connections, along with many complaints about how she had to fake the smile many a times too… never once having enough time for a 5-minute call or a face-to-face meet once a year with me.
I have never been great in making friends, and even bad in faking one. There was no more depth left in our friendship. No more meaning and understanding to rely on. I could no longer make out, if I am one among the people, whom she was faking a smile with? Or was our friendship all along superficial. With futile attempts at trying to meet face-to-face to catching up over phone for some real conversations, I stopped whining for her attention and time.
I am in a less emotionally vulnerable place now, for I have made my peace. I miss her and will continue to miss her, for not many people have touched my life the way a few handful have done, and she is one of them. However, I doubt if she could ever understand where I am coming from, or have the time to understand my point. I don’t want an ‘online’ friend, but a real friend with real emotions.
We all may feel that we are so well-connected with families, friends, and at times, even with our better half and children through the communication channels available to us. However, the same may lead to resentment, if there are no real emotions behind it.
Once in a while, it is better to go back to our old school ways of visiting our relatives’ place, instead of good morning and good night forward messages. Instead of emoticons; hugging and kissing loved ones in real is any day better. Encouragements need not just be left behind with a ‘Like’, but one could convey them in words or face to face, truly encouraging the recipient. Sharing good times through photos and blogs is great, but sharing the vulnerable self with our loved ones should also be a norm, which would be beneficial for both the parties involved.
At the end of the day, our heart still aches when a friendship ends. Loneliness still creeps in, even with a 1000 people on our FB friend list. Misunderstandings take over when one communicates only through online channels over a long period of time. Unfortunately for human emotions, there isn’t any ‘online’ solution.
I sincerely hope that we all make more efforts to keep our loved ones close to us, not just online, but also in reality, for there is no replacement technology for feeling “important” and “being loved”.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pexels
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