Saturday, April 09, 2011

Roots of Friendship


A high school friend once labeled our reunion pictures as "old friends from our younger years."  I didn't like the sound of that.  What got stuck in my mind was the word "old" and I don't in any way  feel old at all.  (Okay, maybe sometimes I do - when my joints start aching after a grueling session of badminton.)  So when I was faced with the same challenge of defining old friendships, I had to try and come up with a better-sounding word.  I thought, why not something like "deeply-rooted friendships."         


When we study Marketing management, our professors would remind us of how the human mind can only remember seven (7) items at one time.  This means that brands will have to outshine each other and compete for limited space in our short-term memories, hence the importance of marketing.  

This discussion actually goes beyond brand recognition.  It is also true that people are only capable of maintaining a limited number of relationships.  I'm not an expert but I'd say it would be around 7 as well.  Thanks to technology however, that number has greatly increased and people can now accommodate probably even seven hundreds.    


With the advent of social media sites like Facebook, one can now be friends literally with hundreds of people and stay connected and updated with each other with just one click.  Some of these however, are people you've only met once or even people whom you've just gotten to know through the internet.  The roots are fairly superficial and are only a few inches below ground.  They are not well anchored and they can be easily yanked out.  And that is why we have to water and nourish these roots so that they can grow bigger and burrow deeper into the ground.

One way to do that in Facebook is to visit your friends' walls every now and then and leaving comments on their pictures and statuses.  If you don't have anything to say, you can simply 'like' them.  

If you wanna go deeper, why not send a personal message asking how they're doing or if you're a fan of chat, go ahead and chat.  Forgive me if I don't do this, I'm not a fan of chat.  It's too wasteful in my opinion.

But nothing beats creating stronger roots by actually meeting in person and doing things together.  That is why I allocate time for people I want to reconnect or connect with.  

And so it was surprising to hear someone say that he no longer cares for coffee sessions because he couldn't take meeting old friends and talking about past experiences again.  I guess he never realized that what they were actually doing, despite bringing up past experiences, was creating new connections and nourishing old roots. 

Another important thing is not to construe people who are active in the social media scene as people who are needy of attention or people who don't have lives of their own.  Humans by nature are SOCIAL beings.  That's another thing I learned from my MBA degree.  It is but NATURAL for people to be involved in social events.


No matter how deep you've nourished these roots, it is a fact of life and friendship however, that these can be disintegrated with even just a single action or word.  People will then stop reconnecting and watering their roots.  As a consequence, the roots decay and die.  

Don't torture your friend and yourself! ... RECONNECT!   

If you want to reconnect, start by saying "HELLO."  It's that simple.  No matter what happened in the past, you'd be surprised how many people are more than willing to stop you right there and then and just say  .... "You had me at Hello."  

(Breaking out into a Hello song will be too much already. hahaha (^o^)v) 

Develop your roots and establish deeply-rooted friendships.  Not only will your foundation become strong but you'll also be surprised how much taller and more beautiful you'll grow above ground.

Cheers to Friendships!

Photo Credits: Water color art in Tissue paper by Chris Magnus!

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  1. and to think you needed a push to sign up on FB! :)

    chat is not wasteful, it's not "instant messenger" for nothing. you'll get the hang of chat soon, for sure and those emoticons spice it up hehe

  2. well, i'm not just referring to FB freeze. it can be any social media - which in fact, before FB, I was a member of 2 already.

    And as for chat, it's not something new, it's been around ever since. way earlier than any social media site. I wasn't a fan then, I don't think I'll ever be. But I'm not saying that it can also be useful as well.

  3. What a well-written post. I am so glad to have you as my friend! You have always kept yourself reconnected to me all these years no matter the distance.

    The thing I like about social media, like Facebook or the blogs, is that they keep us available even when we are not physically available for whatever reason - time constraint, distance. Through them connecting and reconnecting became more convenient, which is always good. All you need to do to connect and reconnect in Facebook is hop on the profiles and leave comments or simply 'like' something in there.

    "Another important thing is not to construe people who are active in the social media scene as people who are needy of attention or people who don't have lives of their own." I agree. However some people don't seem to mind airing out all the private details of their lives and other's for attention. This is one of the reason I disabled other people posting on my FB wall, to encourage 'friends' to 'private message' me instead of crossing the 'privacy' boundary and to keep my wall as relevant as possible for other friends to genuinely connect and reconnect with me.

  4. Thank you again my friend. ^^ Nice inputs from you as well. Great addition to this post ^^

    Hahaha ^^ I wonder what kind of private info your friends' divulged on your wall hihihi. Some have actually scorned me (ok, maybe too strong a word ... more really like just told me) that they don't like not being to post on my wall hahaha


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