Modern life is rubbish, but internet friendships are ​good

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Modern life is rubbish, but internet friendships are good” was written by Bim Adewunmi, for The Guardian on Saturday 14th July 2018 10.30 Asia/Kolkata

In the days when the internet was young, the people you met online were, fundamentally, Not To Be Trusted. Internet illiteracy – not to be confused with illiterate people on the internet – was rife: an era in which people really did believe chatrooms were filled with catfishing axe murderers. The prevailing wisdom was that you had to be a special kind of foolish willingly to meet with those would-be killers in the flesh.

I remember meeting a bunch of Women From The Internet for the first time, after years of speaking online. A good degree of terror gave way to the realisation that we were all delightful. Our expectations are different now, even though the risk of homicide by internet stranger feels oddly higher.

A few weeks back, I went on a short holiday in the south of this vast country, America. Before I booked my ticket, I contacted an internet stranger-friend to tell them of my plans. I received a wall of text in reply, with information to populate at least three different itineraries, depending on how far I wanted to travel, my reliance on rideshare apps and what kinds of foods I like – all from an internet friend.

I think often of the intimacies we now share as standard with people we’ve never met – and may never, ever meet – and marvel. Accumulated knowledge, via jokes and throwaway statements and any number of markers, all absorbed and thrown back lovingly. Modern life is rubbish, but these friendships are good.

I ended up having lunch, dinner and a mini-roadtrip with my friend. And as I bit into a recommended biscuit (for which read scone, UK reader) smothered in cranberry-apple butter, I blessed the internet and all its indigenes.

My tan will fade soon. The tender feeling will hang around longer.

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Modern life is rubbish, but internet friendships are ​good - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).