SORRY, DO I KNOW YOU: Good or bad, I have never even met most of my FB friends. However, it does give me great joy to eventually meet them face-to-face. Unlike meeting strangers for the first time, whenever I meet my FB friends for the first time and in-person, it’s like bumping into an old friend because we have already exchanged ideas, comments and pictures over the internet over a long period, and sometimes at the most ungodly hours.
OPPOSITES ATTRACT: It is no surprise that most of my FB friends like what I LIKE because birds of a feather really flock together. On the other hand, I also like to make other friends outside my immediate circle of friends because I can learn more when I broaden my point-of-view. Let me give you a practical example of how new friends have helped me: When I wanted to take-up cycling, I started befriending friends from the cycling community who could provide me many useful tips such as who to seek for technical advice, which bike to buy, which cycling group to join, where to ride, and such like .
GIVE MORE & TAKE LESS: Of course, sharing of information is a two-way street. So, if you want to ask opinions or tips from people, you must be prepared to likewise share your knowledge & experience with others too. This way, your friendship can grow and flourish well, rather than become a “one night stand – wham, bam, thank you, mam” fleeting kind of fling.
SAY NOTHING AT ALL: Another good way to maintain a lasting friendship online and offline is to always be sincere in your words and actions. Words can be powerful when it is used correctly, while the wrong words can lead people to delist you from their friend list, or even worse, ban you totally. To be on the safe side, if you do not have anything good or kind to say, then it’s probably best, you keep your trap shut.
TELL THE TRUTH: Never, ever try to deceive your friends- you will eventually get caught, trust me. Making-up facts (lying) and fueling hatred with unproven rumors are all sure way to alienate you from the general community at large. If it’s a joke, make sure your friends are aware of it. The last thing, you want is to have one of your joke or careless comment backfire on you, making you the laughing stock of the public. Once trust is broken, it is near impossible to regain it. So, do your utmost to never give people any reason to distrust you: It sounds simple, but it can be difficult to achieve.
DON’T ROCK THE BOAT: Avoid controversy. Personally, my rule is never discuss about Politics, Religion or Sex because everyone has very passionate and varied opinions on these subjects, and it is very easy to step on someone’s toes without realizing it. Sometimes, it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself no matter how wrong others may be.
RELAX & CHILL: Don’t show your anger online because it is self-defeating. Everyone has the right to their opinion, and if it does not agree with yours, then agree to disagree. Similarly, if someone gives you a nasty comment, just take it with a pinch of salt: If you were right and they were wrong, let them wallow in their own ignorance. Some people just get a kick tormenting or bullying other people: That’s the fact of life – get over it, and move on.
GIMME A HUG: My favourite advise for you is to always make yourself APPROACHABLE whether it’s online or offline. In any gathering, people will always gravitate towards the life-of-the-party; the person who is always smiling and happy. After all, people have enough problems of their own without having to listen or read about yours.
So next time, you see me anywhere, please make sure you come over and say “Hi” because I really want to meet you.
Special acknowledgements to Triathletes; Pui, Azim, Henry, Eldred & my biggest supporter, Maryati