In these days of increasing isolation being experienced by growing number of individuals due to dependency on social websites the need for friendships seems to be going down. Increasingly the need for companions and company is reducing in persons of both sexes. It is a very common sight to see these days persons completely engrossed in their mobiles or tablets totally ignoring the persons around oneself. 

There was a time when there were no mobiles and people went out to see the world. Today one can see the whole world in one's mobile on Google Earth for example. The art of letter writing has totally almost vanished. Exchanging of greeting cards has also drastically reduced. Communication is now either through short SMS's or brief messages or through apps like What's App etc.

One great impact has been on the need of friends and friendships.

There was a time not very long ago when children would go out to play and in the process develop friendships many of which would last a lifetime. Lifelong memories would consist of sweet remembrances of childhood friends and the pranks played with them. From a tender age the child would learn to deal with the outside world and understand how to adjust with different types of children and situations. Parents would also encourage them to interact with other children.

In school one would come across a wider circle of students to make friends from. Most of the time friendships would develop in a spontaneous manner. Small secrets would be shared. Picnics would be enjoyed in company of friends. Fights would take place so would make ups for them to be restored back. Small gangs would be formed to protect turf areas. So many discoveries of the world would be made together. Sex would be discovered and discussed in detail. Academics would be pursued jointly challenging each other. Soon it would be time to go to college.

College would be a different ball game altogether. Studies would be hard. Time to form friendships would take time. Gradually one would bond with like minded colleagues and over a period of time friendships would develop. A few of these would blossom into deep friendships and some of them would carry on for life.

The absence of mobile, tablets and computer made it necessary to go out and seek the world. In the process one would interact with other persons and learn so many aspects of human behaviour. Dependency on others was accepted and not looked down upon. Friendships also taught people to work in teams and keep faith in others. Friends supported each other in times of crisis and in times of need. Visiting friends in their homes was a pleasure and one looked forward to them.

However all this has changed now. From early childhood children are friendly with mobiles and soon with computers and tablets. They soon learn to explore the world on their own. There is much reduced  dependency on need for friends. Any free time is time for mobile or computers. Even with classmates contact is through mobile or social networking sites. Surfing has replaced friendships. One can explore the whole world with a mobile based apps.

Connectivity is very important. Today not only food, cloth and shelter  are basic needs but there is a fourth necessity now and that is connectivity. It prevents the lonely person from becoming really lonely.

As children turn into adults the dependency on mobile is considerably increasing. It now has almost all the features which are available in computers. The mobile is now a device which has immense features ranging from communication to games to planning to knowledge searches to computation techniques to data storage to monitoring functions to financial transactions and these are only increasing by the day.

The mobile wakes up a man today and tells him his daily activities. The news app tells him about important activities of the day. The messages and inbox emails tell him about his interaction with the world. The presentations he has to make are made on the power point and forwarded to concerned. Lunch and dinners in hotels are paid by credit cards. Airline bookings are done and paid for by the relevant app. Any information not available is immediately searched and stored by another app. Utility bills are paid for by the credit card company and debited from his account. If he is in marketing he gets the sale updates every half an hour. If he is into manufacturing he gets updated with production figures every hour. The appointment app tells him about the meetings and where these are going to be held.

If he is tired he can go to various sites to be entertained. If he feels like sharing he can go to the social networking sites and chat or talk with unknown persons globally. If he wants to enjoy music he can chose from a variety  of sites or from already downloaded files. If he desires to eat a particular type of dish he can either order it online or get the recipe to make it. All types of desires and wishes can be fulfilled through internet and other available applications.

Thus an individual is self sufficient for a very large variety of his needs by being cyber world friendly. These days this association starts at a very early age and continues thereafter. This has reduced considerably the need for interaction with  other humans. The casualty is non development of friendships. Today persons know each other but do not understand each other. In big cities it is very common to know that persons staying in the flats on the same floor do not know each other.

The net also is now enabled to help individuals in distress. Helplines are available where even persons thinking of committing suicide can approach for help. There are sites to help persons suffering from stress, offer guidance in medical emergencies, get reservations in hospitals etc. Students can get their projects done via online help sites on payment basis. 

All the above services are indeed by themselves very helpful. However they have made individuals very individualistic and singular in nature. Today asking for companionship which will lead to friendships are perhaps seen as signs of weakness. Individuals should be brave and competent to handle everything by themselves including their emotions. Friends and friendship meant sharing emotions which led to a unique bonding. It was not a sign of weakness but a bond strengthened by sharing and togetherness.

As technological interference in our lives increases so does our dependency on it and to that extent our need for sharing and caring with and for other individuals goes down. As our lives become more and more mechanical we become that much more emotionless. As we become more independent we lose our ability to interact in a non professional manner with others. We are living in the world of gadgets associate with them as if they are living beings and are going away from living beings.

We migrate to live in crowded cities a lonely life. Anonymity is becoming the order of the day. People are far more technology friendly than people friendly. Mobiles are the friends of individuals today. But can one develop friendship with mobiles the way one can with another person?


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