Before this new found camaraderie goes the same way a lot of others have, I thought I should document my first thoughts.
This is what happens to Twitter/Instagram friendships
1) After 1-2 meetings, the conversation becomes repititive
2) Beyond the initial common things you connected online about, there is nothing else in common
3) The conversation in real life does not flow as naturally as it does online
4) The person is misogynistic or sexist or has other qualities which are non negotiable in my books
5) The chemistry you share online may not translate into real life. Connecting with someone in real life is very different from connecting with them online.
The problem with friendships today is that we meet for a specific purpose – for a meal or a movie or to do something else. We don’t spend time doing nothing or sharing silences together.
When I called R yesterday, I realised this was the first time we were talking on the phone. I was going to meet someone I hadn’t even spoken to before. He invited me home for coffee because he is a coffee consultant and why go to a cafe when he can brew the best coffee.
I was going to meet a stranger from the Internet whose hobby is nude photography at his house. I could read the next day’s headlines in the newspaper if he turned out to be a rapist. But my instincts are good when it comes to such situations and I told myself I would leave immediately if anything made me remotely uncomfortable.
So we met and spent 2 hours talking which could have gone on for an inappropriate amount of time if he didn’t have prior commitments. The conversation flowed easily, there were no awkward pauses and I had a great time. Very rarely do I talk a lot. There are few people I can banter around and talk non stop and it feels good to find someone new to be able to do that with.
I asked him about his career, his hobby, his family and friends’ opinion on his hobby, about openly being a nude photographer in India and we discussed attitudes of Indians towards sex.
I know we may never meet again or we may discover things about each other we dislike or there may be a conflict am not willing to resolve or the conversation may die a natural death but it was nice meeting someone whose life is so different from your own.
I have recently added strangers to my Facebook friends list and taken them off the restricted list. All of them talk about interesting and different stuff. None of the usual baby/couple/family pics or lame forwards.
All in all, an interesting trip and I can’t wait to go back to Mumbai and hit the gym.