About Friendships and Intimacy in the Digital Age
Our old friends may have known us and got used to us, who may be aware of what we like or don’t like, our vulnerabilities and insecurities. Some of them choose to stay with us, despite not being recognized for the actual value they add to our lives, and we choose to stay with some despite realising how toxic they are but we have got used to their toxicity and we are afraid to let them go because we are afraid to be alone.
Making friends and staying friends as an adult is hard work. It involves communication and building trust. A lot of things can go wrong in communication in the digital age. So, we cling on to our comfort zones, the friends who may have known us for ages, however good or bad they may make us feel. Distance and busy schedules interfere with relationships. Eventually, most of us retreat to our own tiny islands.
It’s not fair to demand too much from those who have already given enough time and space for us, despite the geographical and temporal differences. It’s not fair to yourself when you know that the “friend” you have had “for ages” simply isn’t good for your well-being.
This may be a cliché, but when you let go of the old, or get out of your comfort zones, things happen. Although one cannot know for sure whether it will be good or bad, it still is an experience.
The point is, connect to people, communicate. And see where it goes. If you’re like me who often worries about “being misunderstood” choose to connect with people in real physical space and time. Meet people outside professional and academic circles, based on mutual interests. Sometimes, we are so limited in world view and understanding because we are always with one kind of people- one that works in the same area as yours, or one that studies in the same university, same course. Whatever the case may be, communication is the key. Tell them what you like and don’t like. If you don’t like to be called by a “nickname” tell them that, instead of shutting them off completely. Also, take distance as the cue to move out of that friendship/relationship which had always made you feel uncomfortable, but you stayed , nonetheless.
Take a step back and see if it actually adds value to your life.
Burn some bridges and cross some others.
Take chances. And most of it will be trial and error. But it’s still worth it.
PS: Just a thought- I have often felt people choose to hook up because they need the intimacy, but are not quite willing to put in the hard work. Sex is just a bonus. Like he always says.
so again, who says that ?