I have at least 1000 friends on Facebook. But I don’t make it to the photo lists that many of my friends publish on Facebook on Friendship Day. Does this mean I don’t have friends who care? Or does this make me sad that I wasn’t there in any of those happy photos my friends posted, talking about their best friends and how they made their life worth living?
Not really. For me the meaning of Friendship Day is much deeper than just some photos on FB and Instagram. It’s great to see friendships celebrated on social media. I do love it. But you live true friendships in real life not in the virtual world.
Why Do We Celebrate Friendship Day?
I always wondered what was the need to celebrate Friendship Day when everyday is a celebration of friendship. What is life without friends? Would we survive? No we wouldn’t. Life cannot be lived without true friendship and it’s the bonds of friendship that help us survive.
Although the celebration of Friendship Day was first introduced by Joyce Hall the founder of Hallmark cards in 1920 the UN formally announced celebration of World Friendship Day on July 30 in 2011.
Now I believe quite rightly so. Because life wouldn’t have been a celebration without friends. Apart from your closest relations like parents, spouses and kids, friends are also equally important. There are some friends who are there with you through your life’s ups and downs, you love to age with them and want them to be your companions for life.
Guess that’s how the term BFF came into being. So the importance of Friendship Day cannot be ignored and while you celebrate this particular day, you celebrate true friendship for life.
Related Reading: Unfriending on Social Media: 6 Tips on How To Do It Politely
The Lessons I Learned On Friendship Day
Does social media influence real life friendship? This is actually a million dollar question that is very hard to answer in a few words. All I can say is I have realised that friendships depicted on social media – all the fun and frolic – might not always be true friendship. I came to the conclusion that social media does not really influence real-life friendships.
Because in recent times I have not made it to those “Great Friends” lists on social media shared on Friendship Day, but does that mean I don’t have true friends? Let me tell you all the lessons I learned about friendship on Friendship Day.
1. True friends reach out in the “Inbox”
Last year I was scrolling FB checking out who did what on Friendship Day, and marveling at the happening life of others, when my messenger window popped up. It was a heartfelt message from a friend who wrote she would gladly sponsor the uniform and shoes of the students of the school, we run for children in a village in Jharkhand, India through our NGO.
Whether she uploaded my photo or I uploaded her’s on Friendship Day did it really matter? Naah! But could our friendship do some good? Yes!
2. The friends you “have” to talk to everyday
I have three friends I have to talk to everyday. We live miles apart in different countries – US, UK, India – have hectic lives with work and family, but never a single day goes by, that we do not interact. We have been friends for more than 30 years now and we know each other like the back of our hands.
And none of us make an effort to put up photos on FB. Yes, that’s one thing we have in common. We all are lazy when it comes to things like posting pixs on Instagram. You ask us to talk we will do that nineteen to the dozen over overseas calls.
And when it comes to making a difference together we are always game.
Related Reading: Who Would Be Your Best Friend According To Your Zodiac Sign?
3. Friends who never forget you
My brother wasn’t extremely good in studies nor was he a huge success in his professional life. But he had a rare asset. He had real friends. So when he was fighting cancer there wasn’t a single day that his friends wouldn’t turn up at the hospital or at home to be with him.
I bumped into one of his close friends recently and told him to come to our home someday.
He said, “Now that you have shifted to a new place I can come. I couldn’t imagine walking up the stairs of your old house knowing that he won’t be there to open the door.”
His eyes had welled up. I thought my brother was truly lucky. He had a friend who teared up talking about him 9 years after his demise.
4. The friend you lost but want to be happy
She was at some karaoke restaurant crooning Kishore Kumar numbers happily on Friendship Day. I saw the video on FB and smiled. She was my best pal for 30 years till we became colleagues for a brief time. The equation immediately changed and the friendship took a major hit.
I left the organization in four months but by then the friendship had been sacrificed, rather butchered, at the altar of competition and insecurity.
Although we are not friends in real life anymore we are still friends on Facebook.
We are not enemies though. Looking back at those wonderful childhood days I can only say that we will always wish each other well.
5. The friend who is not on your Facebook
My call went out to a friend last night. No this wasn’t for a dinner or a movie date.
“Haven’t been to the temple for a long time should we go next week?” I asked him. Strange question to ask you may think.
But he didn’t. He confirmed immediately.
We both are on Facebook but never felt the urge to send each other a friend request. Because Facebook buddies are passé. You can call us spiritual buddies. We are temple pals, we discuss spirituality, the Vedas and the Bible. Something you can only do with certain friends with whom you share a deep connection.
How Do We Celebrate Friendship Day?
By loving each other deeply and by being there for each other physically, mentally and even financially in times of crisis. Like it is said that you have to work on a marriage you also have to work on a friendship, nurture and cherish it with love. I celebrate Friendship Day everyday by talking and texting my friends and staying in touch. I am there for them, they are there for me and I am grateful to the universe for sending such wonderful friends my way.
Of course, we celebrate by texting each other on July 30 and sometimes we party too. And we do wish each other Happy Friendship Day.