Virtually Connected

Sunday, June 2, 2013

When I was little--- you know a hundred years or so ago (my son asked me if we had electricity when I was born), computers did not connect to the internet- there wasn't an internet to connect to, your mail came to your house, you had a phone in the house that everyone shared, no cell phones, not texting, none of it. 
If I went somewhere, I'd leave a note on the counter, so would my parents, I also had an emergency quarter to call home with if I needed too- for a payphone. 

The phone most often used was in the kitchen and it had a long cord so you could walk all around the kitchen and still talk- but the phone itself was mounted on the wall. If someone called while the phone was in use- they got a busy signal (remember those?? I don't think my kids have ever heard one).

My mom would spend a lot of time talking to her friends on the phone chatting.  I don't.

The point of this is to discuss whether with all of out social media connections- we are more or less connected to others than before- because personally- I feel lonely- despite 600 facebook friends, 1000 twitter followers, and a house full of kids.

So with all of this connectedness how are we less close to others than we were 20 years ago?

Here are my thoughts:

My mom would chat for a while with just a few people- not 500.  But with those few people she was very open and had great support.

So while I chat on Facebook with a huge crowd- I am not open.  I am not giving of my deepest my real self- I lost touch with that long a go.

When talking on the phone or visiting in person, you can tell a lot about what a person is not saying by tone, inflection, or word choice.  How many huge fights have been started on the internet because of a comment that was said as a joke but the reader took it seriously (why we need a sarcasm font).

My mom actually saw the people she visited with.  They would sit and have tea together while the other kids and I played.

I am not saying that all tech is bad- I love video chatting with my kids when I can't be there- but it is just not the same as actually being there- iPads are great- but they kind of suck at hugs (said with sarcasm).

So, in some ways new technology brings us together- but in others it drives us apart- we can become isolated in our homes not venturing out to actually see people or have any real interactions..

All of the Facebook and text "I love you" messages in the world will not hold a candle to a great big hug from my husband and a kiss to tell me I am loved.

I am going to really make an effort to have real interactions with people in the coming months- not just virtual ones.

Hold me to it please.

Do you feel less connected or lonely despite the incredible technology out there??


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