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Are you so busy for your friends that you don't even notice?

A few days back I had posted the link to  an excellent article  from New York Times,on my Google Buzz which said "Are you so busy for your friends that you don't even notice?" (It is worth reading the article).

The article did make me think a lot and I concluded  that when it comes to friendships or relationships, I do  make time for people who really matter. No matter how busy I am (and I have such a lot going on in my life these days, it sometimes feels like a circus without a ringmaster) I always make time for my friends. I do believe it is important. Fortunately for me, I also have a couple of  friends who always make time for me, no matter how busy they are.

It also made me think about how the definition of a 'friend' had changed these days, especially with Facebook which seems to have invaded all our lives. I get loads of 'friend requests' on facebook. For a person who takes the word 'friendship' seriously, that can be mildly annoying. 95 % of the time, the people who send the requests do not even have the basic courtesy to introduce themselves. They send a request and presume they're Brad Pitt (or Angelina Jolie as the case maybe) and you ought to know them. I currently have 44 requests pending. (sometime back the figure was 156 and when that started bothering me I declined all of them). It also makes me think as to whether these Facebook exchanges are really 'true friendships'.

When I post something on my FB status update, I do get many comments.But it makes me wonder how many people actually mean it? It is so easy to express sympathy or joy (or whatever emotion is being conveyed online). When someone has posted "Not well. fever and sore throat", I immediately see a whole string of responses, which mostly say  things like "Aww--get well soon" , "Take care" etc. I am presuming here that the person who has posted such a status update feels happy that many 'care' and many have expressed concern. It would probably have taken a few seconds of that 'busy person's' life to express sympathy/concern. But how many of them (if they are in the same town) will come around and offer to make hot soup for you?

One might argue that FB helps us keep in touch, it cuts geographical barriers, you share pictures, jokes, whatever catches your fancy. I would agree and say that is right. Socialising is indeed easier online. With such busy lives we lead, it is so easy to spend 15 minutes of Facebook and instantly catch up on everything your friend has been upto.This morning a 'friend' had a status update which said 'Leaving for office' and there were many people who had commented on that too!

And who knows, maybe all those people who leave comments on your status update do really care.

 But nothing--I repeat nothing-- can replace a real crushing bear hug where you can feel the warmth of your friend's love for you, as their arms go around you and you hug them right back real tight .

Tigger Pooh Hug Pictures, Images and 

Like one of my best friends (Jayu, whom I have mentioned in this post)  who had called to congratulate me about my second book said "Waiting to see you and hug you  and tell you all this in person. Over the phone I cannot express".
How true!

Some things just deserve a hug (even a phone call will not do).

Make time today (ok, this weekend) and go and hug your best friend..Go Go GO--why are you still reading?! :-)
ps: Today is the deadline for the six word story contest which has got an overwhelming response. Check it out here. Results will be announced on Sunday.


  1. Dear Preeti,

    Lovely post and made me really nostalgic bcos I and one of my very good friend in UK have been discussing something on similar lines just last week......Seriously with my best friends living geographically far off.....I can definitely understand what you mean...

  2. I think that FB is way overrated. I am very choosy about friends requests on FB and I honestly feel that most of the aww poor you/take care, hugs sort of responses on FB don’t mean much! I agree with you nothing; absolutely nothing can replace a hug from a friend. There is something about physically meeting and talking to people who matter that chatting or FB can never match :). All my clsoe friends live outside Delhi .. and I miss them so :(

  3. I completely agree when you say that the ' Take care' and ' Get well soon' for a ' Not feeing too good...' status, does not really mean they felt anything when they write those 3-4 words. It hardly takes 3-4 seconds anyhow.
    But I feel good when people read the status message and bother to just gimme a call. I hardly have any close friends in Bangalore... so for me that call is ever so important!

  4. As a VERY active user of facebook (you might already know :P), I am a strong believer of the fact thar these are NOT true friendships. In fact, it is funny how many people I have had to 'hide' from my newsfeed cos I really don't give a crap!
    I do have friends both online and in 'real' life that I spend quality time with everyday, we share laughs, sorrows, the more than occasional hug--none of that is possible online or even on phone!
    All said and done, facebook is a great way of networking and as long is it doesn't invade personal relationships, it's super!
    Great post again, am glad we added each other mutually :) :P

  5. A person who shouts out to the world that he/she has a sore throat shudnt b worried if the comments he/she get are really honest or what I feel ;) U dont need FB to keep in touch with ur real friends who really care for you..right? If I want to say something to my closest of friends it wudnt be thru FB for sure..if at all I use FB it'd be in the form of a msg just for that friend..n not thru a status update :D Having said tht FB is truly addicting..which is here to stay for a while :)


  6. I don't have most of my best friends where I that's one thing, but I do feel that social networking sites help in a small way...when I'm really down, a message from a friend helps immensely...but then like you said, nothing like face to face communication...

  7. Great all of yours it makes me think. Somehow I really don't like those 'I have a cold :(' 'My grandma is sick :(' kind of posts. Not much for this over-sharing. I think its better talking on phone on skyping rather than talking online. Of course meeting in person is unbeatable though. Coming from a very huggy-squeezy family, I like hugging my friends too.
    Once again great post!

  8. Yes I absolutely agree with you. A real friendship will always take time for you how busy they may be. A teddy bear hug is a must when you meet .

    Good one keep going...

  9. I totaly agree with your crushing bear hug point :D nothing can ever beat that feeling :) after all we are still human and not androids :)
    beautiful thoughts.

  10. I agree with your perception on Facebook. There is a lot of virtual friendship which has actually changed the meaning of friendship from the pre online social networking days.

  11. That bear hug doesn't compare to any 'likes' 'aww, take care' , stuff at all... Being a regular fb user I know how that can be. And the emotions of yesteryears, the handwritten communication, the 'touch' exchange, the dial the phone to only convey but if you really want drop in to the persons house with some fuits or food ( my family still does that) are all so endearing and strikes a chord too.

  12. A telling comment that the concept of a friend has indeed changed in the connected world of today. Yes, the hug is important, but I've found nice friendships with people online, but whom I rarely physically see. It will be a different world of friendships, I suspect for our children.

  13. The amount of comments I get on my pictures on FB sometimes make me wonder am I really that smart or handsome :D

    On a serious note, I loved the post and the article you posted the other day. There is no substitute for meeting a friend in person. I have plans of going to different parts of India just for this once I come back.

  14. Aa point to ponder preeti.Kick the virtuality and hug the reality out there.

  15. Love the article! In fact...the Internet has killed something I treasured dearly...the occasional hand-written letter from a dear friend!

  16. wonderful post preeti,now dat im on da verge of compleleting school life,im goin to miss all ma real frndz i.e. skul frnds...
    *wen is da 2nd book being launched in pune?*DO REPLY FOR DIS...inspite ur busy routine!

  17. Loved the post Preeti more so coz u've mirrored my thoughts here[precisely the reason why I'm so 'active' on FB;-D]and most of the comments were spot on;-D.
    But I've realised one thing....there r people who r introverted and are uncomfortable interacting with people in real life, FB for them is a lifeline.

  18. well FB req annoy every one ;)!!
    but i added U as i wanted to know ur experiences ...your Journ from blogger to author:) ! and i have been reading Ur blog posts from quite some time ..To exchange few views ......but ya BASELESS unknown req r irritating at times and Dont ask abt FB..i have written a long article on how FB is ruling our as MUCH ANNOYED AS U R!!!! if at all time permits ..just drop by

  19. The first thing I did after reading this post is checking out your FB friend list - 460!!!! Thats quite a staggering number and of this 460, am sure only a handful would be 'friends' in the true sense of the word...and for such a 'public' figure, FB posts could be a real violator of privacy!
    As for me, I comment on a friend's status update or pic only when theres a real feel to do so! But yes, i miss a friend's hand-written postcards and greeting cards we used to send and receive on special occasions! And yes, bear hugs too...gone are the days!!

  20. Aah I love gossiping about Facebook :P. It bothers me that "friends" ask me to check their pictures on FB vs sending an email or uploading them on picasa. I always send my baby's pictures to my family and close friends regularly via email or a picasa link. I do post on FB but that's for the extended circle. Also when people meet they talk about FB updates n stuff...I ask them why?

    Agree with you on the "Hugz" part :)

  21. Shachi: I guess many find it easier to just put the snaps on FB. How is uploading on Picassa different from uploading on FB if one has altered privacy settings (which I have) so that only one's closets friends or good friends can see the snaps? I agree that a friend can simply send an email with a baby's pic, if that friend is close. That is definitely what I would do too. Not ask someone to "Go look it up on FB" !! :)

    SK: Oh- 460 is nothing! Please check out the profile of one of my closest friends Ajay Chauhan. He has double that number of people on his list and they are all people whom he has interacted with and met and whom he knows.(and not just virtual friends).For me, I make my photos and all other stuff visible only to a select few , so it is not really violation of my privacy. (In fact unless you're a friend of a friend you cannot even send me a friend request as I have disabled that option). bear hugs--i still get :P :))

    Afshan: I did read your post. You made some valid points there.

    Reflections: I agree..for some it is indeed a lifeline. And who are we to decide that 'real' is better?

    Shalaka: please check with Pune Crossword! Once the book is written it is completely out of my hands and I would not know about book stores schedules of release of new books.

    Jane's Ire: I still get, i still get! :) (lucky me!)

    Gazal: Yes-did you see the article in today's Blr Mirror?

  22. Varun: Great idea! :)

    Ramesh: Yes, I guess. But I do hop they have at least some 'real' friends.

    Prats: oh i agree so much. My neighbour drops in with a home cooked meal and I can see he warmth on her face. Lucky to have such people around.

    Shubhika: yes Social networking has indeed changed concepts.

    Rajlakshmi: thank you :)

    Ketan: true--w always make time for those who matter.

    Nandana; thank you! But maybe the people who do put up such updates are lonely and need some kind of interaction. maybe it helps them.

    Caterpillar: oh yes--the comments on my status updates do make me feel good too!

    Geetha: See my comment above. The point is it is easy to express sympathy online.

    Sucheta: i agree about adding each other :)) Don't know if they are 'true' friendships or not..was merely observing how friendships have changed.

    Aathira: oh yes, I feel good too when someone has bothered about a status update of mine :) I guess thats why we keep coming back to FB.

    Ruch: It was great to meet you and we connected only because of FB right? :) So i guess its not that bad also :)

    Ruj:Yes when you are geographically far away FB is great indeed.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. FB is fun. Period! There is no two words to it. Well yeah it do help you in finding out some *long lost friends* (rolls-up-eyes) but then if you really (like REALLY) wanna connect to someone you dont *poke* them on fb - you just pick up the phone and call them or if you really can just give them a visit.
    Having said that I do use it a lot, what's the point in living if one can't be a tad hypocrite?


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