In this modern day world of i-phones, smart phones, emails, Facebook etc etc (there are so many I have no idea about hence the etc…) there is a sense that we are a “connected” world. More people globally know what is happening in my life, including those who don’t know me or know me well. I share stuff on Facebook as I believe others will find it interesting (not everyone and that's ok!), I share my adventures e.g. my San Fran trip to highlight something happening in the world, I post my photos and drawings partly as I want to sell them but mainly in a wish they bring smiles to faces - many posts and blogs are with the intention of provoking thoughts.
It doesn't equal connection at all.
The like button is, let’s be honest an easy way to say ‘I read your post’, a comment is more personal and especially a comment about what was posted that maybe sparks a banter. Not saying the ‘like’ is not a good thing - I just wonder if it is overused and an easy/lazy way out.??
I appreciate we can’t spend all our time sending PMs (I took me ages to figure out that meant personal or is it private message) or call to say “wow your post was great”; the system in place does at least highlight interest - unless you simply like everything!!.
It also depends on how caught up we get about the likes we receive. It’s such an interesting world where through the world of social media we start to define ourselves by number of likes. I saw a great series Black Mirror and one episode was about this, voting people the minute you met them; have an encounter with them and to keep your rating up you had to be sickly nice - get a low rating and your average goes down - the lower the average, well watch it and see - very eye opening….
What I’m wondering is how far does this spread into the world where 'real time' phone calls are dying out, and we possibly spend more time texting than speaking. Do we think by liking and texting that we are connected?
For me I’m not connected and if anything I’m more disconnected.
I started being coached again recently and was tasked with sharing (in a call) what I was learning and it triggered me into a weird anxious feeling. The voice in my head went “I’d be intruding on friends, they don't have time to chat to me they are so busy”…. Tightness in my body and I wanted to shrink into self and not do it. Coach’s words “It’ll be a stretch for you then…”. Damn her.
Where did this notion come from? In my 20s I NEVER thought that way, I’d pick up the phone (land line) and call someone - so easy. If the friend was there we’d chat, or I’d leave a message and they’d call back or I would later. No big deal. I never felt I was intruding.
Then I got a mobile phone.
I do think hand phones have a lot to do with my feelings, along with the world deciding being ‘busy’ was the thing to be.
I was looking to find an image to go with this blog and also found this article written 3 years ago…
I’m not alone. YAY….
Some blocks from it if you don’t want to read it all:-
"Now, calling on a phone is almost like a violation," says Scott Campbell, a professor of telecommunications at the University of Michigan. "It's very greedy for your social presence, and texting is not."
"I used to think the millennials were wrong about this, but it is an imposition to call someone and say put aside whatever you were doing and give me 30 minutes of your time," says Neil Howe, president of LifeCourse Associates, which consults with corporations about generational attitudes and behaviors.
As Boyd points out, communication is a two-way street. Both parties in the pair have to agree to a plan. Fewer people are willing to engage in a phone conversation, which not only eats up more time than texting but has to be done in that very moment.
"Even if it's someone I know well and love, I resent the intrusion," says Amy Pickworth, a friend of mine who works as an editor at the Rhode Island School of Design. "The phone is so pushy. It's just suddenly so there, demanding, 'Talk to me, say funny things,' or 'I'm sad, cheer me up,' or 'Holy cow, listen to this”
Do we really not have the time for those we love anymore? To share life stories, feelings and emotions and what we’re thinking and experiencing? Relationships out side of our primary partner/husband/wife/children. As a single woman my relationships with friends are important to me, not having someone to go home to and tell about your day isn’t always easy. But I needed to get over this notion of intruding.
I know for a while I didn’t put a huge effort into friends, I decided to become busy too - swiping, going on quite meaningless dates or hanging out people who didn’t mean much to me and vice versa, making them a higher priority as well as other ‘stuff’ over friends who truly cared for me... I can see why I did it - I felt needed and wanted even if for that brief time, such a transactional way of being; someone ‘leaves’ and another comes along anyway. But there was nothing close or connected or special about it and it left me feeling emptier than I realised.
It’s my close friends that matter, those who know me - love me for all my weirdness, uniqueness, randomness and whatever else it is that makes me me. And I love them for all they are.
These are the people that matter and I love having chats with them, FaceTime, hearing their voice, seeing them not just reading their words.
Since I had that ‘intruding’ moment I’ve chatted more to friends, shared what’s been going on - been stretched and I love it!! I love talking to them and doh I’m not an intrusion at all!! The stories that play over in our minds are powerful….
These friends are my family and I love them and it’s so lovely. It took me to be brave enough to reach out and it did take some courage to tell my anxious/intruding insecurity story voice to shut up and I glad I did.
And the future? Where the world will go technology wise and how we interact is a bother to me - what will human connection become in the future?
For me, I’ll make the time to chat, to spend time with my friends - be open about life, listen to them, be there, wherever we all are in the world….