Celebrating new, virtual friendships

BySanchita Kalra
Aug 15, 2021 01:54 PM IST

A few tell us about their experience of shelving the vital of physical presence, and how they are redefining the norms of a friendship in the times of a pandemic

As pandemic made the communication with outside world hit pause, youngsters in the city either willingly took the digital route to establish social connections or were compelled to make companions online, fuelling virtual friendships. A few tell us about their experience of shelving the vital of physical presence, and how they are redefining the norms of a friendship in the times of a pandemic.

 (Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Take for instance, Ghaziabad resident Shreya Sharma, 21, who works at a food aggregator. From a job which required her to visit office on daily basis, Sharma switched to work-from-home in November 2020 and has been bonding with friends made at work virtually. She says, “Before the work from home switch, I had a big circle there whom I used to meet regularly. I have made a few friends online that I share great bond with but am very surprised because never thought that I would feel comfortable.” However Sharma sometimes do misses the offline connection as she says, “I don’t know how they’ll behave in person, whether it would be the same bond.”

And the situation is not only for professional workers but also for students who have moved beyond the traditional brick and mortar friendship.

A Gurugram resident, Dhruv Bhasker, 24 who is pursuing MBA, now digitally, at an institute in Solan, Himachal Pradesh made new college friends online based on common interests. He says, “Our course was shifted online due to the pandemic. So, a WhatsApp group was created with 120 students. One of the students made an effort to make another group from it of 20 students as all of us took late admission which was a common factor. And now, within that group, we have a group of 4 from different cities so the bond of friendship is strengthened. We talk on video calls, conference calls. Of course, the closeness doesn’t feel like old times but we’ll only be able to meet once the course resumes offline.”

And after a long hiatus, looking forward to take the connection from online to offline is Delhi-based Divya Chaudhary, MBA student from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai. Chaudhary started her course last year in July 2020 and the seniors at the institute took an initiative to break the ice. She says, “First interaction with senior because of this activity. We had ice breaking sessions, they hosted movie nights etc. We all started to feel comfortable and open with interacting online. And being a part of student council, I mostly interact with 5 other members and we have been bonding well.” She further adds, “I will be travelling to Mumbai next week and moving in with another student with whom I have only interacted for a year but only online. I’m excited but nervous also about seeing the person in real for the first time, sharing the same place etc.”


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