Self expression is today’s buzzword. It is explicit and all-pervading right from chats on our smart phones to online inaugural addresses and meetings. Gradually they are taking care of a larger chunk of our real-time communications that involves our private and personal emotions and thoughts right across a defined or even undefined audience/s be it far or near. One can find an instant acknowledgement from the receiver’s end through a Wow, Aha, Ha-ha, True and what not; say some symbols of emotion, audible clapping or mere silence that sometimes could be profounder than saying a thing at all. The content can be what is felt important by the parties and routine trivia too. Won't we talk to our children while the latter are still within the womb, just to communicate, so that the baby could kick back for an answer? But what we say to the yet-to-be-born would be an enabling kind, as we keep in mind the interests and progress of such silent communicator.
Social media tools such as Facebook and WhatsApp as means have to come to stay and we engage those we consider as friends or useful contacts via a common connection. It is praiseworthy that some friends though unseen and "untouched:' tend to end up as more than our family in due course. The downside is the danger that our personal time is at the risk of being robbed from our family.
In the US, I heard this from an American teacher of psychology lecturing about their ways, anyone can be a friend to them, be it the one behind in a line at the billing desk of a supermarket, where incidentally a coffee had been shared between them a little while before. In India, before these social media made so much headway, or making inroads into our daily life, the conditions used to be very different and conservative, when we used to be very selective while referring to one as friend or contact.
The business tactics of the media owners include some strategies to encourage us to be more and more interactive on 'our' sites/timelines to sell their advertisers’ wares, and incidentally catch our interest to do business with them. In a mixed way, they have to be thanked and blamed for this new ‘friends’ idea that is taking the world by storm for good or bad. Where this leads is anybody’s guess.