A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
One of the coolest side effects of our society’s relentless technology is Social Media. It has allowed us to turn our world into one gigantic village — which means we’re all cyber-neighours. Everybody on this planet is now one tap, swipe or click away from everybody else, and billions of us have taken advantage of this. Think about it! We all know someone we’ve never talked to, never touched, never smiled at, or even seen. These are the strangers who are our friends – our e-friends – and in the 21st century, we all have them. There is still some debate over whether these e-friends are as good or even the same as IRL (In Real Life) friends, but in a couple of generations, this won’t even be a question … because … and here’s the best bit – e-friends are way better than real ones. Let me demonstrate.
E-friends never waste your time with long, boring stories. Regardless of how drawn-out their particular tale of woe might become, you don’t have sit there and listen. The truth is, most people just scroll down to the end, type ‘awesome,” and move on.
E-friends never drag you off to places you don’t want to go. When you live on the other side of the world, this never comes up on the panel – thank God. So you don’t have to sweat the oboe recital, the fishing trip or what’s-her-name’s graduation – just to be polite. All you have to do is make the right noises when your e-friends post the pictures.
They’re never mean to you. E-friends are notoriously good-natured, and if they ever do go off the rails, all you have to do is delete them.
When e-friends talk about you behind your back, you’re never going to hear about it.
You don’t have worry about cleaning the house when e-friends come to visit. In fact, you can talk to them in your pajamas if you so choose – and people frequently do.
You never have to put up with your e-friends’ annoying spouse, or know-it-all sister, or idiot dog who peed on your carpet or any of the other baggage IRL friends always bring along with them.
E-friends don’t force you make hard decisions like “Does this dress make me look fat?” Normally, those photos are deleted long before they ever get to you.
E-friends never give you the flu.
E-friends don’t make promises they can’t keep. Ganjit, from Chennai is never going to volunteer to help you move and then disappear the day the boxes are packed. (I’m looking at you, Sam Newton!)
E-friends always listen. When you’re talking to them they never get distracted by their phone – cuz you’re the one on the phone.
E-friends don’t borrow your stuff and forget to give it back. You never have that awkward moment when you discover your e-buddy Betty is serving cake off a plate that she borrowed from you two Christmases ago.
But the best thing about e-friends is:
Age, gender, race, religion, nationality, income, etc., etc., etc. don’t make a damn bit of difference to e-friends. They are the most egalitarian groups of people on this planet. So, while most of the world is shouting and swearing and calling each other names, there are tons of little groups of e-friends, kicked back in various small corners of cyberspace, trying to get to know each other. And that’s totally cool!