Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friend Me

Technology and social media has made it possible for people from all over the world to connect with one another. It’s an amazing thing to be able to email, text, tweet, Facebook, Pinterest, instant message and let people know what you are doing and what you are interested in at the very moment you type it into your tech device. But the question that has been haunting me for several days is: are we really connected?

Initially, I was going to make a comment about Christmas cards in contrast to mass tweets/texts/emails. After all, it is that time of year. I was going to be a little snarky (love the word Allison!) and voice my opinion on how these methods of communication has made us lazy. After all, why put in the effort to individually let people know you care when you can just send a mass email? And by sending mass communications we have lost our individuality and become a collective and anonymous thus less important to one another. Really, when was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter to someone? And then I was going to bring it all back to the characters in my novel and their relationships to one another because I am writing a novel and I want people to read it when I’m done.

But in light of the horrible tragedy that took place on Friday the question of connectivity is even more important. Are we really connected? What we do with all our postings is outreach which is nothing more than marketing really. We are offering ourselves, our interests, our thoughts, our goings-on to the public at large. “Look at me! Look at me!” But do we ever really reach out? When was the last time you had a real conversation with a friend over coffee or lunch or sitting on a park bench? Or offered to help someone on a personal level?

We will eventually have the conversations about mental illness, gun control, community values, computer games and security procedures. That’s just great. But ask yourself why these things didn’t happen thirty years ago with the frequency they do now? What was different? What did we have then that we don’t have now? I suggest we had real connections with each other.

So this holiday season, while you are tweeting where you are eating your holiday feast and pinning the sweater your Great-aunt Fanny knitted for you, try to take some time to have a real conversation with an old friend or a new one.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, it's harder to genuinely connect with people, though it's infinitely easier to have ten fold the number of connections. One can be lonely no matter how many 'followers' and 'friends' they have- nothing replaces real human interaction.