I never was Miss Popularity. I never will be either. In fact, after this post, it won’t surprise me if people remove me from their Facebook friends lists.
I have been thinking way too much this week, and this whole friends thing is just one of several topics running through my mind. It got sparked by something a friend said when she visited me recently.
By the way, I had not seen this friend in the 14 years that have passed since we left school. We were not close friends in school. Nor did we keep in touch over the years, but she decided to say hi when she discovered I was in town.
In Technicon, I got to know a bunch of new people. When my studies finished, so did the friendships I created. With one exception, which also died when I got married. At work, I have met more people. Only one visits me outside the work environment.
Do you see a pattern forming here? We are bunched together because we have a common goal. Once that goal is reached, we all split ways. In my case, hardly ever has the relationship, or association, with a person developed, or continued, beyond that limited time frame.
But then, along came Facebook. A wonderful social network where you can connect with long lost friends, find out what they up to and get back in touch. That is what a social network is all about, right? Finding friends, catching up on old times and reestablishing old ties?
Sorry, but for me, it seems to be a preconceived misconception. I have over 300 friends linked on Facebook. Yes, a small chunk are connected for the advantage of playing certain games, but the rest are either family, or people that I have gotten to know over the years. If I had to seriously prune that list, there would be very few left. Those that actually gave a damn and leave me messages, occasionally call or sms … and even *shock, horror* come and visit.
I am not even going to ask what I am doing wrong. I won’t ask whether I am throwing up some kind of defensive barrier, keeping people at bay. Can’t be. I am a vibrant and outgoing person that enjoys the company of friends.
Could it really and truly be because you are so busy with your own life that you have no time for anybody else? Can’t be that either. Many a time, I see parties or other events being arranged, but I don’t seem to be invited.
All that is left is the fact that I am in a wheelchair, and the social stigma attached to those with disabilities. Oh shame, she is in a wheelchair. Let’s allow her to think we enjoy her company. Since we have to endure it, while studying, or at work. Life was much simpler as children. It was all about how much fun you could have. Aspects relating to race, religion, physical impairments or whatever did not matter. Until an adult taught you otherwise.
I will not beg you to be my friend. I am here. I am me. Like me or don’t. Maybe one day, I will prune that friends list. Until then, feel free to unfriend me.