“When you’re alone you don’t do much laughing.” - PG Wodehouse
“Did you know,” said my friend the other day, while stuffing her face with food, “that Winnie the Pooh is the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations?” She then, proceeded to wash the burgers down with a Coke and started chomping on her fresh order of fries. I said I did not, and watched her suck the salt off a French fry with amusement as I reminisced happy memories from our past of similar nature.
There is no telling what makes a person tick when it comes to choosing chums for life, I concluded, after having trifled away another invaluable hour of my life, watching my amiable friend gobble and guzzle. Awash in the friendship day fever, my peer rambled on about her forthcoming merry-making and I was forced to resign myself to a silent expression of disapproval not much unlike Aristotle and Cicero, who too, would have sunk into chairs, profoundly dejected by the redefined, abysmal notions of friendship espoused by the masses today.
The emergence of social media, like a siren’s song, has lured multitudes into the sea of virtual reality where human contact has been replaced by electronic forms of interaction. The spirit of friendship, akin to a flower uncared for, is wilting away. Cyberspace, by a sustained blitzkrieg of discombobulation, has lulled masses into a false sense of security wherein they refuse to exercise judgment when it comes to revealing intimate details of their lives to complete strangers disguised as friends. So deeply enmeshed it has become with the lives of individuals that the mere thought of disengaging themselves from it, is distressing enough to make them clutch their brows and break into fits of hysteria. Face-to-face conversations have now become part of a dying institution. People today, have many acquaintances in the digital realm, but few friends outside of it.
True friendships, are results of deliciously inexplicable happenings, built and nurtured on moments of shared excitement, passion, uncertainty and fierce camaraderie. The human ability to forge bonds of friendship is a characteristic trait, as is the innate desire for cooperation and companionship. To say, that one does not desire occasionally, to break free from the mundane task of being one’s self and pretend to be somebody else entirely, would be paltering with the truth. But on occasions, when a fellow needs a friend, I find the prospect of dropping down into a cozy sofa with a friend and watching her demolish several plates of food oddly comforting.