Today, being Memorial Day, we want to acknowledge all the men and women who’ve provided us the freedoms we enjoy. And yet this is how we choose to express this privilege?
With the advancement of technology and common acceptance of texting, instant messaging, and email as forms of faster modes of communication, people no longer choose the personal touch of in-person interaction or phone calls. People are content starting new relationships, business or personal, by emails and texting without even thinking twice.
I completely understand that the pace of life today is faster than 10-20 years ago. So, hand writing a note or even wishing a friend Happy Birthday over the phone is unheard of when you can simply send the same wish via Face Book. No need to spend time catching up… Totally admit there are circumstances where you need to be accessible for business, wife/partner or children, so texting is convenient/legitimate when you’re in a meeting or in a spot where it is too noisy to hear. In these cases, it is polite to acknowledge receipt of a message or despite being busy you can quickly respond.
Today’s issue may lie in that people, of all ages, but specifically the younger generation, choose to hide behind the new forms of technology as their primary method of communication. They forego the type of interaction that actually builds lasting, genuine quality “relationships” because they don’t see the value. If you meet someone, enjoy their conversation but then decide that person is no longer interesting, it’s far easier to ignore their texts/emails by giving the universal sign that you are done with them and have moved on.
It is interesting that we wouldn’t discipline our children through a text or email. Why? Our children deserve the emotional investment of time and the gift of interaction: mental, emotional and physical. So why do we treat our adult relationships with such disrespect and aloofness? It really speaks to the fall of our society. We literally are failing as a species to leverage the skills and personality traits that separate us and give us an advantage over our hairy primate friends.
It is appalling to see people in the work environment sit 5’ from each other, and yet engage in emails back and forth endlessly trying to solve an issue. Instead, wouldn’t it be easier and more effective to simple walk into each other’s office and have a healthy and often shorter conversation face to face? Talking in person, you hear inflections, you read facial expressions and body language and can elaborate in more detail, without the too often misunderstandings that stem from emails. Has our society become so lazy and people physically unfit that it’s easier to let your fingers move instead of your feet?
Along with people resorting to texting or instant messaging comes a whole host of other nastiness:
- People are kidding only themselves when they respond with a few quick words/sentences and move on mentally… Thinking they aren’t being rude to the other person.
- Using technology today means people don’t have to be quality individuals. No need to be polite, mannered or show respect for others. Just answer and move on.
- Boys and Girls (Can’t really use the word Men and Women in this case since the behavior is extremely immature) will send out to their contact list the same message to see who responds. Maybe it’s when they are bored or hoping to get laid, since they aren’t too discerning. Their ego is satisfied confirming they have options and friends.
- People highly mistaken their # of Phone or Face Book contacts for friends. Quantity vs. Quality.
- The on-going dilemma… When do you cross the line into being rude if you don’t respond to a text or IM? Should you respond right away if you read a text? Or can you wait till the end of the day?
- The most disgusting use of modern technology is when people are too chicken to deal with the consequences of a situation or their actions so they hide behind texting/emails. Maybe they have to cancel on someone or even break up… Or heaven forbid they either don’t want to or know how to respond, so they simply ignore the text/email.
I could continue but I think you get the point.
It truly is a shame that we don’t invest more quality time in each other and stop taking each other for granted. As we get older, we realize that honest and genuine people are increasingly hard to find. Or is it that the # of good people in the world is still the same? We simply don’t care about taking the time to get to know each other because it takes more than 140 characters.
Getting to know someone means you actually have to invest of yourself, which means taking time.
Meeting people as we move through life, cherishing friendships and being respectful of those that invest in you… IS what Life is all about.
Trust me… Before it is too late.