Communication without connection

Am I becoming a curmudgeon?  Is this a sign that I am getting ‘old’?  Let’s talk for a moment about ‘social’ media and today’s communication.

Want to completely miscommunicate an idea or feeling?  Want to dot your ‘Ts’ and cross your ‘Is’?  Then, by all means, text.  Text everyone.  Text every idea and every conversation that should be had in person.  I feel more and more lately that I want to text less and either actually pick up the phone or see someone in person.  Sit with me, talk, cry, laugh, for gods sake be angry and scream and yell, but do it to my face.

Don’t get me wrong.  Text is great, for a quick conversation.  For something that takes very little feed back.  “Want to hang out?”, “I’m doing X on Y day.. want to come?”, “Saw this ** the other day.. lol.. thought of you”…. Great!  A quick little text that tells me that you thought of me is amazing.  Possibly makes me whole day.  Continue on for my issue:

My brain works in a million directions at all times.  I’m everywhere and nowhere all at once.  I could text you to hang out or make plans and also text someone else about something or .. gasp.. be on the phone having a chat… which is going to take my tiny brain into another direction completely.  By the time you get to answering me, I could have had other thoughts relevant to you that I need to get out.. so I send them too… And there is no tone, inflection, anything that tells you how that thought is coming out. You just see it as all one conversation.. then you get mad.

No one says no in a text.  They just avoid that message all together.  You cannot avoid something when you are on the phone or in someones face.  It’s ok to tell people no, it’s ok to break plans, but commit to telling the other person what is going on.

This brings me to my next ‘issue’ Facebook.  Again, as a concept I love it.  I get to see what my friends and family are doing from not just across the country, but around the world.  It connects me with the people that I care about who I can’t just jump in the car and have tea with.  For that it’s great.

It has also removed me from everyone else.  I currently have 175 ‘friends’ on Facebook.  I can assure you this is the most people I have ever left on the account.  It was a bit of an experiment.

At one time I removed people that were not either related to me or directly involved in my life.  And I mean ‘directly’ in the most loose of it’s forms.  If you even ‘liked’ or commented on any of my Facebook photos or posts, you were left on as a ‘friend’.  The removal was taken personally.  But how?  I wonder how long it even took for people to notice they had been removed.  Why do we see Facebook as the be all end all of friendship?

I can tell you that with the most people on my Facebook account ever, at this moment in my life I have never been lonelier.  Just this morning I wondered if I moved out of the city and didn’t post it on Facebook or change my phone # how long would it take for people to notice I wasn’t in the city anymore?

This isn’t a woe is me post.  This is me trying to get you to look at how you interact with the people who matter to you.  Do they know they matter?  Do you know what is going on with them?  Are you basing these answers on what you have seen on Facebook?

 

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