I received many messages from my friends yesterday and also in today’s morning, wishing me a happy friendship day!. I wished them back and shared some love over there! The status bars in the chat apps filled with people’s joy of having friends in their lives. Many of my friends posted pictures of their friends with some usual smileys. I really loved the fact that how much of a concern people have for friendship. Some guys had posts that say they don’t need any special day for it, since everyday they share a friendship with someone!
But what surprised me is, one of my classmates asked me “what is your say on friendship day?” Another friend also asked me to write about the friendship day.
It turns out that now I have to share my view on everything that happens around me(I like that anyway!).
Fortunately, I got some thoughts on friendship, not particularly about this day but something that comes under my niche here, which is leading a meaningful and productive life and career.
The era of virtual friends and some history
Even before the happening of facebook, people celebrated friendship day all around the world.
Like today, each and every country celebrated friendship day on different days in the calendar. After some google search, I found that the “the friendship day” was first proposed in the year 1958 in Paraguay.
Initially proposed by the greeting card industry(which witnessed its death later), the day grew into a big need among people with the advent of social media sites.
The understanding of friendship has changed a lot from the past definition of friendship. Now, people are connected each other more than ever before. Everyone carries their friends in their smartphones!
It arise a new category of friends which I would like to call as virtual friends(The people we connect with on social media.).
Right now we got to hang around with old category which is the real friends and the new category which is the virtual friends.
The case with virtual friends.
First of all I have to admit that, there are lot of advantages on having virtual friends than real friends.
What make the virtual friends different from real friends is, they are easy to find.
But real friends are not easy to find.
There is always a virtual friend online and is available for you to contact.
But real friends are not available to you until you have a face to face interaction with them.
You can make a stranger to a virtual friend by a friend request tab.
You cannot make a stranger to a real friend as easy as clicking a button.
Being said that, I have to be clear that, the connection you have with a virtual friend should be as unique as that you have with a real friend in your neighborhood.
This is where the idea of social media friendship fails.
With the current design of social media each and every person is part of a crowd.
As long as you are part of a crowd, you have to act like the crowd.
There is no importance for the individuality.
The one thing I understood when I quit social media almost 8 months ago was,
no one actually cares you whether you are on social media or not.
Other than a few who texted me and called me, no much people asked me why I am not on social media.
The reason is most of your virtual friends don’t care you!
As long as you are social on media they can know your birthdays and send a wish on that day.
Do you need more online friends?
To figure out do you have the right group of online friends, answer the following questions.
Is your online friend egging you to do that specific thing you want to accomplish?
Is your online friend spreading or sharing the meaningful work you are creating?
Is your online friend respectfully challenging your deep held beliefs?
Is your online friend demanding the best from you?
If you find a friend(s) on your social media account who will give be a no for all the above questions, then go and unfriend him/her. You don’t probably need that person(s).
Perhaps you need more online friends…
Do you need new friends and how you build it?
The purpose of life and business in this era should be to make connection and trust with some people, not with everyone. It’s true with friendship as well.
Most people crave for new friendships and expect everyone to like them.
Not everyone in this world remember Michael Jackson or the Beetles today. No one can influence everyone and nobody was.That’s the truth.
Even if you are the great as you can be, you will be forgotten. Even if you start a business or make a connection with people, go for someone and not for everyone. The “someone” who will make a trust with you and who cares about what you say.
If you were able to make that connection with someone, then go for five more people.
Again if you are successful with five people go for ten.
These people with whom you made a connection with will spread your idea and that’s how you build an empire of human connection and friendship.
In my words, your own army!
So never crave for everyone but crave for someone.
PS:Barack Obama won the American election two times despite he was black and wasn’t popular enough to influence the whole people in United States. But he made a trustful connection with some group of people. They spread his words and Obama became the first black president of USA. That’s how connection and friendship work these days.
(Photo By Helena Lopes)