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Sitting at home in this in this time of social distancing as the coronavirus rears its head, I am really starting to miss meeting people face-to-face.
With the Coronavirus scare, the entire family is at home and bonding, and people are working from home. Internet and the mobile have become our saviours to stay connected, working and updated.
Time is a luxury that most of us did not have and suddenly there is loads of it.
Life for all of us had become a pillar to post run that never seemed to end. Everyone was always grumbling about not having the time to do the things they love and putting things on the back burner. Not having the time for social interaction, time for family, meeting face-to-face and so on.
Guess what, so many of have all the time in the world today, don’t we? It is a good time for self-retrospection, family bonding, revisiting hobbies, and of course all the time in the world for the internet. Suddenly, the internet and OTT platforms have become friends. Tongue-in-cheek, I ask, the mothers out there if they are still grumbling about it or indulging in it themselves.
Social media was always my best friend. So to all who said I live on social media, what say now? I am on the SWIFT roll. Yeah, S=Skype W=Whatsapp I=Instagram F=Facebook T=Twitter.
There are some we just connect with via social media but never really meet, and many of these become our friends for life. Yet, I am still a big believer in the face-to-face talk that leads to better friendships than just being connected on social media.
One day I had this wild thought of writing on my face book wall “hi, we’ve met here on FB so often, but I would like to actually see you, meet you personally. I am going to be at X place on Y date at Z time. Drop in and let’s connect over a cup of tea”.
A friend flew off the handle and cautioned me, calling me nuts for sending out an open invitation to not just friends but maybe other nutcases out there. I wonder – maybe if I had sent that note out, then today some of my friends would have stepped out of the FB page to meet me in person. I might have just made my connect with them much stronger.
Besides, honestly, I am one of those who can’t really put a face to the voice. Don’t you agree that the voice on the phone can throw you off? Voices don’t match their appearances at all. They never do! I have been told this about my voice too. A number of times.
Then is it not absolutely true that even before the virus scare hit us, people talked for hours on mobile or social media and yet never met face-to-face most of the time?
With long working hours, there certainly were constraints on meeting up. With the exhaustion after work and no inclination to dress up to go out, all one craved for was to curl up on bed and use social media to stay connected.
I’ve realised that it is not just about the present situation, because even otherwise it was about networking, and most times not about meeting people in person.
The whole world is on remote, whether marketing, socialising, connecting, or even friendship. It is like you don’t need to ‘be there’, but then you are ‘there’ too. Besides, even when you call someone, it will probably take you just five seconds to go into a “hardly listening to what you are saying” mode. It happens to all of us. That mobile in one hand, someone at the other end, and zoning out and doing something else.
Remote communication has become the norm today. Conversations on phone are much like marketing calls. I don’t need to know what you are doing at that moment or what is going on inside that head of yours. That voice on the mobile steers you, owns you and takes you sometimes to a place of no return.
But if that same someone had been sitting in front of you, you might have had more questions to ask. More time to look into those eyes. Maybe, just maybe you could have escaped the power of being pushed in the corner to do or concede to something you never wanted to!
Face-to-face conversations give you that power. You don’t need to wait for other person to finish before you talk. You can jump right in to debate, argue, disagree, share thoughts, stories and discuss everything that makes you want to sit around more.
I do usually make it a point to get out more than most do, and attend workshops, meeting friends, etc. In fact I do that too much but then that’s just me, who loves to meet and greet. Everyone needs someone to talk with, to vent frustrations, to interact, to get opinions and see that face reacting with empathy.
In these days of social distancing, I am truly yearning for a friendly hug, going for a film with friends and chatting over coffee, or perhaps going shopping or just meeting up, which to me is as important as a meal each day. It is food for the soul. I am so missing that. That one happy face, one smile, one conversation to laugh, share, argue, disagree and crib together. That warm hug goodbye that makes a memory, so that there are no regrets in future to say “I wish I had met him/her, but it is too late now!”
It is said “Time and tide waits for no man”, but guess what? It has just stopped for a breather. So let us make the best of it. Just pick up the phone and call those you have not spoken to for long at the earliest and chat now. It is time to talk and chat. It is time to revisit your hobbies. It is time catch up with yourself. To love that face in the mirror.
Image source: shutterstock
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