Wow, you’re much more interesting on the internet.

Posted: October 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who shall remain nameless more than usual on here.  The conversation went something like this.  “Oh, I heard <personal event> happened.  What’s going on?”  “Oh, it’s a long story.  I posted it on my Facebook status.  You didn’t read it?” “Um, no.  I missed it.  Why don’t you tell me about it now?” “Well, okay.”  So, here’s my issue.  Do you mean to tell me I now have a social responsibility to keep updated on close friends only through their Facebook/Myspace/Twitter/blog?  When did talking become such a chore?  I don’t have access to it right now, but there’s a great video of a speech about how our social interaction have actually become stunted by the internet and PDAs/cell phones.  One statement made was, “Whatever is going on in my phone or on the internet is much more interesting than what’s going on right now in my real life.”   It seems as if we’re replacing real life interaction, even talking, with this assumption that the internet is somehow a replacement for dialogue.  It’s not.  I’m sorry if you spent three hours typing a note or blog somewhere, I can’t scroll through four days of statuses and sift through quizzes about Which milkshake you are that brings all the boys to the yard or Bejeweled scores (I swear I’m hiding things as fast as I can, they still keep popping up) to find out you broke your arm.  Why don’t you just TELL ME? 

I know that I’m guilty of this as well.  I expect people to know how I’m doing because of my blog/FB.  I’m chastising myself as much I am anyone else.  I’ve gotten better with not texting at dinner (and now I’m starting to realize how INCREDIBLY rude it is, sorry, guys) and texting in general.  What’s wrong with a phone call?  And are we so egotistical and neurotic as a society that we worry that if we don’t have CONSTANT contact with our loved ones that they’ll think we don’t care and/or stop caring about us?   My job is almost entirely on the phone and I have no problem taking calls when I get home from people if it means I can skip a text battle.  And to be honest, it’s somewhat theuraputic to hear the voice of people I care about, even if they’re a million miles away. 

I’m not saying there’s not an advantage to having more forms of communication to stay in touch with people that are part of your life or even more so, professionally.  It’s that we’re slowly replacing personal contact with impersonal contact.  How many times have you texted or IMed someone and they understood the words of your message, but not the feeling or missed a subtle inflection and a joke or at, times, real concern?  That’s why we don’t speak in monotones (and NO, smileys don’t make up for it).  I don’t know the answer, but there has to be a balance.  And yes, if you find me to be guilty of these things, call my kettle black.  I am trying to break these bad habits. 

This is a scene repeated in households everywhere when a World of Warcraft expansion comes out.

This is a scene repeated in households everywhere when a World of Warcraft expansion comes out.

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Comments
  1. Miss "MJ" says:

    Yes, there’s entirely too much texting & not enough talking to each other. Why when u call someone u get their voicemail, but when u text u get a reply almost immediately??
    I attended a party a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe that there were moments that I saw several people who were all friends sitting at a table & texting. What the hell is that crap about? Talk to each other dammit! About 2 yrs ago, I met this guy; we dated very briefly. Soon after we met, he informed me that he didn’t listen to voicemail, & didn’t really like talking on the phone. He was also a workaholic. The only real way I could communicate with him is thru texting. Keep in mind that the first 2 weeks we talked on the phone damn near everyday. After awhile I got sick of that & cut him off. The sad part is that he was smart, successful, fun, and not to mention fine as hell. (u ladies can understand this one). How can you expect things to progress if you won’t talk to me on the phone like a normal person?..

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  2. Stupidman says:

    I find it very impersonal that you didn’t call me and share your thoughts about this with me on the phone.

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  3. 37 says:

    You know, present company excluded, I’m a phone-a-phobe. You’re the person I speak to on the phone the most, if at all.
    I’m one of the worst people to keep in touch with. As a matter of fact, before all of the online social crap and texting, I really just never did. Not that I don’t miss people, it’s if I don’t have something important to say, it’s awkward for me. On top of that, once said important statement is delivered, I find myself with nothing more to say. Weeks of non-communication turn into months, which turn into years.
    I don’t consider myself completely socially stunted. Get me in person, and I can talk for HOURS until my voice is hoarse.
    So for me, these other forms of communication are a good thing or else some people would think I fell of the face of the planet. Family included. I know I’m not the only one.

    Just a perspective from the other side.

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    • yourboogieman says:

      But, see, you’re right, you’re not alone, but that’s not TYPICALLY the case. For people who DO keep in contact with other people, it’s the replacement of personal communication that worries me. In this case, yes, I love hearing your voice, but I’ll take a text. It’s the case of when the people you actually care about get relegated to acquaintances because everyone’s trying to put everyone ELSE on the same level for convenience.

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