The many groups I belong to! And what social media made me realise…

I have been a frequent mover all my life!

It started with my father’s transfers which was pretty much every 3 years. So I changed schools 6 times during my elementary education. Then I joined the Army and traveled to 2 more places. Then 2 more for my MBA. My job took me to 2 different places. And I am at a new place as I write this!

It was really cumbersome during childhood to make friends in new places. I did not have a dedicated friend circle with whom I grew up. And it kind of riled me sometimes.

But it gave me a distinct advantage — I have many groups I belong to. And as I have grown up, I realised this subconsciously — the more the number of groups I belonged to, the more I grew in life. But the realisation hit home recently when I inadvertently became a part of a high school group on WhatsApp.

As it happened, during our high school days we were a small gang of boys and have stayed in touch through all our life. Some great friends there! But we had no girls in our group! Quite surprising, when I come to think of it now! Don’t ask me why, I’m yet to figure out! ☺

Anyways, we all got onto this new group with a bunch of girls (now ladies) whom we had studied with. We had been connected on FaceBook and other mediums but never interacted much.

It all changed the last couple of weeks. In fact, talking about this group here seems funny because just a couple of weeks ago half the people in there were almost strangers to me!

The girls have gone on to play some awesome roles — enterprising housewives, doctor, consultant and above all as a mother. And the guys are all pretty settled in their respective family lives. But in the past couple of weeks, we have discovered a funny side to ourselves…

We laugh and banter with each other on silly things, as if high school days are back. We take digs at each other knowing fully well no one will be offended. We share our family’s moments within the group and have formed a mutual admiration society in between ourselves talking about myriad things. It has given us new friends to share our joys and sorrows with. In fact, we wonder why we did not interact even a 100th of what we have done over the last 2 weeks!

It was perhaps meant to be now! While we were all busy in the humdrum of our lives, we were missing the fun and joy and smiles that only childhood friends can bring on. And for all we are worth, we are all much more happier these days, enjoying and reliving those memories of our childhood and becoming kids again…

And its the same across all groups — be it family or friends! Social media has bought us all closer on an informal level that nothing could. It has given us the freedom to express and associate with and learn from each other.

The positive impact these interactions have, far outweigh the time spent on social media. I feel we all owe it to the social media revolution engulfing our lives, where we all are connected and share our happy and sad times with others. Otherwise, in our cocooned existence in today’s world, its easy to become lonely and get lost!

I am sure there are more surprises in store in the future as social media evolves! As Martin Buber said “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware”, so I move along, ready to experience new things and enjoy the old times with my numerous groups!!!

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Originally published at rishidixit.wordpress.com on February 17, 2015.

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