On e-friendship, I write thus…
I chuckled with the thought of doing this piece, then I smiled and slowly started to laugh…
My first recollection of friendship takes me back to the days of pen pals. Then details of men, women, boys and girls seeking pen pals are advertised on magazines. I remember my brothers had varieties of such magazines and I waited my turn to read. It usually takes 3 days if they are not too busy (there were and still four boys ahead of me in the family).
When I eventually settle to it, I will read the manifesto of each pen pal advert noting age, sex, likes and dislikes location and most of all interests. Once decided, I then sit down to compose an application-like response with the best of handwriting (we mostly write cursively then) or beg someone with a better handwriting to help out, depending on my level of desperation for this pen-pal. This is important knowing the person on the other side will make a judgment call based on the presentation of my response, so it is important to appear and sound good as well as convincing. Once this is done, the next thing is to get it posted and keep fingers crossed expecting a reply which sometimes never comes or if you are lucky in a month or two.
The experience described above is akin to what obtains these days with the various chatting, friendship, dating platforms/applications that abound. The only difference is that it is much faster and shallow in relationship content, a peculiarity of ubiquitous or commodity items. It’s all about instant accept/reject, spontaneous add/delete and occasional impulsive ignore. Long hours of chatting about nothing, annoying recycling of jokes, unwanted PINGs, BUZZes, SMSes and Tweets are the characteristics of the friendship platforms these days.
Gone are the thrills of anticipation of a reply from a letter you crafted over a week explaining things that happened since the last letter (now mail) was sent or even a month while you were waiting for the reply that you read over and over again and compared with the previous ones. These days everything is instant, welcome to the jet age of the generation X.
The good thing is, you my e-pals will receive this once I press my send button.
Afolabi Williams is service personified. His passion for service delivery is evident in the way his contribution to the competition organized to name the old Platinum Bank magazine emerged tops and earned him the maiden slot as the first staff to be profiled in “Passion”. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, a Master of Science degree in Multimedia and Interactive Systems from Napier University, Edinburgh Scotland, a graduate of the Senior Management Program (Class 36) of the Lagos Business School (LBS) and a member of Lagos Country Club, Ikeja. He presently manages the Channels and Automation group in the Information Technology division of Keystone Bank Limited. Afolabi is one of the founding members of The Trent’s Elite Voices and he blogs at Folabi Williams.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.