Friendship Day: Do gadgets bring people together?

By P T Usha Published on Aug 04, 2018 02:55 PM IST

Chennai: “You guys want everything in a hurry these days. We do not think the essence of friendship is felt by this generation,” say Kamala and Indra, who have been thick friends for more than 60 years.

As time rolls on, new generations come up and the meaning of friendship keeps changing. But, with chances being better to stay connected nowadays with the help of gadgets, is the bond becoming better or worse?

News Today’ spoke to 'best friends' of different age groups on the occasion of Friendship Day that is celebrated worldwide on the first Sunday of August. This year, it falls on 5 August.

ATTACH OR DETACH?

Kamala, a 68-year-old retired teacher, says,“I do not deny that these day children have more chances to connect with their friends through social media. But, they miss what we had. For them, everything comes handy and meeting friends is not a 'thing' for them. Whereas, for us, during those days, even standing as a group of four girls in public places was not allowed. When it comes to watching a movie with friends, it is all about posting a 'check-in' update for today's kids. But, for us, it was a long 'permission process.' For instance, me and my friend Indra are huge fans of Kamal Haasan. If any of his films are out, first we have to get permission from our family. They will first go and watch the movie along with our neighbours to check if any intimate scenes are featured. Only if it was a family-oriented subject, will they take us. Otherwise, it is a big 'no'.”

She continues that they were school friends and, unfortunately, did not get a chance to study together in college. Indra was forced to discontinue her studies and her parents got her married.

“I came to Chennai for higher studies. Like these days, we did not have mobile phones to connect. After struggling for six long months, I found her address and wrote a letter to her. I had to wait for another two months for her reply. I still remember, running to receive every letter I get, expecting that it would be hers. I still have her letter with me. Seeing her hand-written reply made me cry. So, our letter conversations went on and till today we are best friends and stand for each other, truly,” said Kamala.

TODAY'S KIDS

A group of college-goers said, “Luckily, this time Friendship Day falls on Sunday. There are many parties happening across the city and we have booked our tickets, already.”

Rakshnna, a college student, says, “I did my schooling in Chennai and now for my higher studies, I have moved to Australia. We people these days face more competition than our moms and dads. So, we do not have time to celebrate with friends like they did. Even if I wanted to make some life-long friends, in this busy life, I can’t afford to do it. Even today, there good best friends whose friendship does not end with Facebook check-ins, WhatsApp birthday status and Instagram pictures alone. But those are very few in numbers.”

WHAT DOC PRESCRIBES

“The families have shrunk today, and so has our sharing space. One should at least make a handful of good friends to share good things. Simply sharing how your day was with your friend will make you happy at the end of the day. So, make friends. Friendship will take you to a higher level,” says city-based psychologist Hema Karthik.