As Albert Einstein said, ‘Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a madman.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m as addicted to the power of the Interweb as the next person, but there was a time when I used to yearn for a handwritten letter in the mailbox. Now I yearn for a real email! Sad, isn’t it? I can’t shake the feeling that the more we are obsessed with means and modes of communication – blackberries, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, IM… the list is endless – the less we really connect with people. Of course something like Facebook is convenient for keeping in touch, especially with those you want to be able to catch up with now and then without too much effort, or for people like me that live on the other side of the planet to most of the people she knows, but I can’t help but feel that sometimes it stands in for making real friendships with people. I sometimes find myself referring to someone as ‘a Facebook friend’ in order to indicate that although we have “connected” on FB, we don’t really know each other very well.

These thoughts about communication and connectivity stem from the fact that I, personally, am finding it very difficult to make friends in Vancouver. Other people I have spoken to who aren’t from here say that they find the same thing. And I know for sure that Cape Town is the same for outsiders. People are very friendly in both cities in a general sense, but I know that if I was a visitor to Cape Town, I would find it very hard to break through the solid walls of the cliques, and I am sad to say that it feels the same way here. Although people are very friendly (especially those good ‘ol bus crazies 🙂 ), I still find myself, nearly two years down the line, wondering when I am going to feel like I really belong. I have met some great people and have forged a few friendships but many of the people I connect with have very busy lives with kids and busy jobs etc and so aren’t really up for a party on a Friday night. It is also hard not to get frustrated because I know as the outsider I have to make more of an effort and really work at it, but at the same time, it becomes exhausting.

In a previous post, I wrote about the similarity of making friends to dating and I still believe that theory. But at a certain point you also feel like sometimes you’d rather stay at home “listening to Sad FM” (to quote the almighty Bridget Jones), drinking your way through a bottle of quality red than go through the emotional wringer of friend finding. People tell you to join clubs or do activities you enjoy to meet people, but as the wise Brother of Mine pointed out, most of the people doing the same thing are Empty Nesters trying to figure out what to do with themselves post kids, not super cool youngsters that want to stay up late doing what young folk do. And of course, just like being in the Singles Club, when you are desperate, people are like bees or dogs (*insert correct metaphor here*) and they sense that desperation and run for the hills.

Yes, yes, time and patience. Je sais. So in the mean time I will keep Tweeting and Facebooking and Skyping and hope one day to feel connections that are real and true and beyond some illusory Second Life…

PS – Don’t think I didn’t spot the irony in writing a blog post about this topic…

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