Gathering of any sort, where there are more than a few unknown faces, is certainly not for me. I prefer the comfort of friendly known faces where each one is stripped of his or her mask. I enjoy and cherish the time spent with the few friends I have.
Social interactions are not one of my favourite activities and I have over the years put in the very best efforts to be as inconspicuous as possible. And what gets my goat is the first thing people, the unknown, never-met-before, ask is if I’m on FB or Instagram or twitter? I mean ask me my name and interests and hobbies and qualifications and I can start connecting with you. But why the social media handles (I hate this word – I mean handle to what, my life, your control?) excuse me Mr/Ms Sorry-didn’t-get-your-name, don’t you have anything better to do than to peek into my life?
I joined FB after a lot of persuasion and cajoling from my friends since all, yes all of them without fail, are inhabitants of this virtual world. Even my ground floor neighbour has sent me a request and I’ve met her just a couple of times when going to my car. Thankfully my dhobi and sabjiwalla haven’t sent me any requests (I’m still reconciling to my maid sending me Whatsapp messages and forwards!)
So back to attending social events. Yeah would love to attend some book releases and something related to books. Had attended a few when I was working for a publishing house. Thoroughly enjoyed the interactions. (Even more the wonderful spread of snacks and beverages. Absolutely heavenly!) I did make some contacts there, actual contacts where I physically sighted the person, introduced ourselves, exchanged cards and later kept in touch. But that’s it. I prefer this kind of connecting. I attended a book reading once. I came back with a bunch of complimentary unsold or unpopular books by the same publisher. Some were interesting but the rest went into the trash bin.
So, yeah, I guess social events are not my scene till it’s something that gets MY attention, not my social media handle’s!
People of all walks of life now give more importance to virtual life interactions. My neighbor wished me happy birth day on FB and after half an hour when he met with me he acted as if nothing had happened. Had he entrusted even the fb posting and updating part to a virtual person – I wondered.