We live in a world where we can be in touch with anyone we want in a matter of seconds thanks to things like cell phones, and the Internet. But when we connect to people in these ways, are we really connecting? Maybe I'm just an old soul trapped in the wrong time period, but I don't feel very connected to people when we're strictly communicating electronically. I often wish we could revert back the time when people wrote letters to the people they cared about, and rode a horse across multiple states just to be with someone. I'm not just an old soul, apparently I'm a hopeless romantic. Don't tell anyone though, I'll deny it.
I just feel like everyone is so used to getting on Facebook to say hello to an old friend, or shooting their significant other a text to say I love you. Sure, there's nothing wrong with that, but when it becomes common practice, and more traditional forms of communication disappear, it seems like a problem to me. I'm guilty of texting people for hours on end, but when I think about it, it probably would have been easier just to talk to that person on the phone. Things like emotions and context often get lost in electronic translation. How many times have you had to explain a joke or sarcastic comment sent in a text message? I've had to plenty of times.
Why are we so afraid to actually open our mouths and talk to people? Cyber bullying is going on all the time, and I'm sure 90% of the things said online would never be said to someone's face. I kind of feel like technology has turned us all into desensitzed cowards. Don't get me wrong, technology is amazing. When it's not possible to communicate with someone in person, I'm so glad there are things like Skype, and Facebook. But when we have a choice to send someone a text, or call them to plan an icecream date, I'm chosing the icecream date.
A connection to me isn't strictly physical, or emotional. There is no black or white. A touch can send chills up your spine, and a word can instantly bring a smile to your face. Having a real connection with someone requires effort. Effort from both people involved. A text message, or a "poke" on Facebook, doesn't really require much effort in my opinion. So to fix this problem, before I send someone a text message, or write on their Facebook wall, I'm going to stop and seek out possible forms of communication that actually require a little bit of effort. I can be terribly lazy at time, so this is going to be quite a challenge for me. But I think it'll be worth it, I want to feel connected to people in a way that doesn't require an Internet connection.
So my challenge for you: Write someone a letter; call someone on the phone; plan a lunch date; connect with someone on a deeper level than you usually would today.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.