I suck at making friends. Maybe because I suck at small talk. Or because I have trust issues. Or perhaps because I'm an introvert. The bottom line remains, I can't make friends at the pop of a beer.
And yet, I have 1,327 friends on Facebook.
Chances are, you and I may also be connected via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the hundred other social networking apps; and yet we know nothing about each other's existence! By the way, I am doing fine, not that you ask. And I hope that you're well, not that I care.
But that's just how we roll these days, isn't it!
Friendship these days has been reduced to likes, tags and social media mentions. The more of them you have, the friendlier you are. And if that's any benchmark, I am the friendliest of 'em all!
We spend our days looking at wedding photographs of "friends" we never meet, liking the vacation photos of people we never liked and sharing our life with people as familiar as the voice of the Delhi Metro announcer. But we do all of it anyway. Because with time, the definition of friendship changed and so did the breeding ground.
I'm sure most of us have a solid pack of friends whom we meet offline, in the real world, every now and then. That every now and then being 'only weekends'.
But have you ever wondered what those weekly meetings possibly mean? Are you really looking forward to meeting your friends all week long? Or is it just an escape from the monotony of the 9-5 job that leads you to these weekly meet-ups?
Our generation today is living life one weekend at a time. In the middle of which, a lot of things happen to us. Right from project deadlines at work to marriage deadlines at home and mid-month woes to the month-end cash crunch, our routine sucks the life out of us. And it's only natural for us to feel sapped and try to find an outlet. Which arrives in the form of Friday evenings.
What, however, is keeping our faith in friendship alive is the fact that there are people who, like us, just wanna have fun on weekends.
That's friendship in this generation. A group of self-deplored people finding solace in the company of others caught in similar situations, over rounds of beer and joints, only to forget them on Monday mornings. Until next Friday, that is.
Let's face it. We don't have friends anymore. We have socialisers. A breed of people caught in the same corporate paradox. People who think they're looking for friendship, but make do with good company. People who you will never connect with on an emotional level and yet, can't stop meeting with painful regularity. People you'll go out lunching and holidaying with and yet can't call them at 2 AM when life feels like a mess.
The best thing about socialisers is that they seem so friendly that the outside world would take them for the luckiest people alive to have such a solid pack of friends. They have check-ins at all the fancy places in town and perfectly-timed photographs of all sorts of fun activities. And for everything else, there's Instagram and Snapchat filters.
Unfortunately, there's no filter to separate the socialisers from the actual friends.
Have you watched Fight Club? Of course, you have! Think of socialisers as Tyler Durden. Most of them will be gone before you come back to your senses and realise that it was you, your mental loneliness and your longing for company all along.
You meet them everywhere. The colleague sitting next to you; she's a socialiser. She'll never be your friend. But because you have similar issues to bitch about and an equally sorry love life, you may just take her for a friend.
That cute guy who sent you a friend request the other day; he just wants a ride back home because you guys stay in the same locality.
And that friend's friend you really adore wants nothing but an invitation to your weekly get-togethers.
While that one true friend you have in your long list of acquaintances sits quietly in your phone book. Until one day you finally ring them up.
And it doesn't matter for how long you two haven't spoken, it will still feel like yesterday. It will still smell of friendship.
Another weekend is around the corner, as we speak. Another house party to attend. Another round of wild boozing and another round of social media updates.