Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friendship with a Virtual Smile

I happened to read this article on

Here is the link:

I wonder if the world will ever recover from internet-sickness!!!!

This article immediately caught my eyes, the title being so sensitive. I too had been sick for quite a long time, say a year with internet. Internet overtook my senses, when the world seemed close to me. There was a period in my life when I used to gather new friends on social networks like Orkut for hours together. Somehow, this hunt for friends suddenly halted and now I know what is true and what isnt. I still have real good friends on the internet, whom I have not even met, but who come forward to help me at any point of time in my life.

Now that I am out of college, where we gain new friendships, social networks have become a gateway for me to interact and keep in touch with my old friends. I know what they do, when they update their profile or send messages. Whatever be it, people kind of stick to social networks to keep in touch with friends. A lot of my school and college mates remain in touch not through phones, not through frequent visits but through these social networks. 

These days, social networks are taking a new dimension with the coming of professional networks. Professional networks like LinkedIn are bringing people who want to make friends in their professional network, and I personally feel, it is nice to know people from various professional areas and understand the other side of business. They remain good friends too!

My opinion is, when we are left to interact with friends on the web for the first time through social networks, we fail to understand the dangers that come with it. There may be fake profiles out there trying to fool the others on the network, and there are cases, where it was too late when they realized and fell in deep trouble. I mean to say that there always is a difference between the people whom we meet personally and those whom we meet online. 

Though we have a lot of interaction and new friends on the web, we should think fair enough to accept the reality of life. We should spare time to go out and meet our real or rather physical friends like we spend time to interact with the virtual friends or 'still not met' friends from the web.

The last line of the article was catchy. Quoting it, 'It is friendship without a smile -- or at best with a virtual smile -- and certainly without an embrace. Is it less real, then? As someone from a heritage which speaks of degrees of Reality in Vedanta or Change as the only permanent state in Buddhism, how can I say that the virtual is less real than the physical?' 

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