Friends: Are we truly connected?

916! That’s the number of friends I have on Facebook.

Intrigued by the number, I quickly browsed through the list of friends. After about 7 minutes I discovered:

  • There were many of them who I didn’t remember meeting
  • Almost as many who I had not spoken to in the last many years
  • A number of them who I would have liked to keep in touch with, but had not
  • In some cases while I was in touch with them, the quality of these connects was questionable
  • There were only a handful of them in the list who I was in regular touch with.

It made me wonder about the kind of relationships we have these days.

I remembered the time when I used to make sure that I call my friends every once in a while. When I used to ensure that I would call, if not meet them, on special occasions (b’day, anniversaries). The time when I used to feel ecstatic about all those calls I used to get on my birthday. The more the calls, the nicer it felt.

Today, most of my interaction with most of my friends happens on WhatsApp or Facebook. I remember to wish people only when a reminder pops up on FB, and even then in most cases I just drop a line on their timeline or maybe on WhatsApp. I don’t get too many calls on my birthday any more. But who am I to complain, for I am guilty of it as much, for not picking up the phone, not really staying in touch.

It is easy for me to blame this change on the shortage of time, conflicting priorities, workload, etc. But is that really the case? Or am I not giving enough attention to those precious few, because I have to keep in touch with many more.

Here is how I plan to change that:

Goal 1 – I am going to look up my list of ‘contacts’ & select those who really matter/mattered to me.

Goal 2 – I am going to get in touch (speak on the phone or meet in person) with 3 friends this week, who I have not spoken to in the last 6 months. Continue with the same goal for the next few weeks until I have connected with all. Remain connected post that.

Goal 2 – Call and wish my friends on their birthday/marriage anniversary going forward.

PS: Staying connected in a professional context (Networking) is an important topic, but let us leave that for later.

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