June 19, 2011

The Wrong Impression

Have you ever noticed how the wave of social networking and independent mobile devices which are supposed to make the world a little smaller have widened the gap between those who should be communicating in real time? 

And the ability to give the impression that you are something you're not becomes huge.  Like saying you live somewhere when you really don't and chances are you may never live there.  Yeah, lets wait until things actually happen before we make fools of ourselves.  Or let's portray ourselves in a realistic manner instead of making people think we're something we're not.  That only leads to heartbreak.   Because of the lack of personal touch that comes with the continual use of media instead of verbal communication, we're becoming a society of insecure, unsure folks who don't know where they stand with most of the people who live outside their home. 

Like teens communicating with each other via txting while in the same room.  It's like whispering - an action that used to be categorized as rude.  Not only do we now take phone calls in the middle of personal conversations, we drop whatever we're doing to read/reply to a txt.  I recently witnessed a group of folks who used their cell phones/txting to "talk about" another individual in the room.  Things they would never have said out loud.  Maybe it would have been better that way...you know?  Or the group of kids who used their cell phones to jam the microphone signal so a girl they didn't like couldn't be heard during her big scene in the high school play.  Yeah, it's just another opportunity to be rude in a society where the more impersonal we become, the more distance we create between ourselves and the world we live in.  It's a shame because confrontation, dealing with real life situations and sharing friendship/love/feelings has become a lost art.  No wonder there are so many social problems with teens...they don't know how to handle life.

And then there are the txts that are ignored.  Did you get my message?  What is your response to my msg?  Is that ok?  Are you blowing me off?  If we don't get an immediate reply, we feel snubbed.  Or, if you live in a low signal area like I do, maybe the txt hangs in cyberspace until you move to a better signal area.  So if you don't leave your house for two days, you receive all your txts at once...many are obsolete by now or you've created hard feelings because you didn't respond. 

And that's another thing.  There's nothing personal in a txt msg, or an email or a facebook post.  No tone of voice, no facial expression, no body language.  The problem with that is a lack of knowing intention. The great mystery...what did you mean by that?  Are you angry?  Is that a general statement or are you speaking to one person...me?  All this mystery leaves the doors wide open to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.  And in today's society, folks don't have the courage to follow through.  So, you've sent a txt...no reply.  Should I call?  No...if they don't want to get back to me then I'm not going to bother with them anymore.  They obviously don't want to talk to me - be friends with me - reply to my post...etc.   HELLO!!!  Maybe they didn't get it!  Just because you can contact them doesn't mean that they are in a position where they can respond.  Of course there's always the chance that they are blowing you off or ignoring you and that goes right back to the whole rude factor.  And so I have this love/hate relationship with the entire cell phone/email/facebook social networking thing.  It's wonderful for it's intended purpose...but, as with all things, we'll find a way to corrupt it.  So just call me and we can talk!

Here's the way I handle txting.  If you send me a txt and I don't respond within 5 minutes, assume that I didn't receive it or can't respond and pick up the phone.  Don't call my cell because chances are if I didn't get the txt, I either won't receive the call or it will be lost as soon as the connection is made. Do it the old fashioned way...call my land line.  If I'm not home, leave a msg.  If I can't talk then, we'll talk later.  Don't just assume the worst.
Or better yet, let's have tea!

OK, the cardboard box I've been using as a soapbox is breaking down under the weight of my opinions on this so I guess I'll step down before I fall down!

2 thoughts about my meanderings:

Katy~The Country Blossom said...

I have a cell and rarely use it. I never text, for the exact reasons you have described above. :) I think social networking has taken things away from cozy kindness and intimacy in talking to others. I also have difficulty when people use shorthand on the computer (4=for, r=are). It drives me bonkers....as well as horrible grammar! Ack! :o) I guess it is the benefits (or to me, annoyances) of technology! I am definitely an old-fashioned gal! :)

Wanderer said...

I'm with you, although it's terribly handy when all goes well, it does take all the personal touch out of communication. Thanks for visiting!

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