Lately I have been wondering how much we hinder our actual ability to form meaningful relationships because of the internet. We have this sense of being connected all the time, yet we are further apart than ever as well. It is like being in a “comfortable” relationship, not for the happiness or love, but because it brings us consistency and doesn’t impose on our comfort zones. Tell you what, I would rather be single and lonely than together and unhappy. We do this with so much in life, jobs, living arrangements, relationships; grasping onto that safety blanket of our own insecurities and the technology has the potential to unlock so much more for us but we choose to hide behind it. We grasp onto whatever semblance of anonymity we feel it holds for us still. A picture from yesterday on instagram with 1000 likes doesn’t satiate us for more than a fleeting second. We need to open our eyes and enjoy the world around us, using the tech to enhance it, not as a passive blockade, sheltering ourselves from mystery, intrigue, and the unknown.
This bubble of tech we have created around us is not healthy. Not just the internet, but texts, emails, and any other forms of communication that require electricity(minus the infamous phone call which I truly miss with all my heart.)) I loved talking on the phone. It brought me happiness. Sure you can text and chat with people all day at the computer or on your phone, but you get no human inflection, voice, or warm fuzzy feelings when you see someone’s name pop up on your caller ID. Instead we get annoyed, and ask for features built into our phones to send automated texts to allow us to skip calls with courtesy. I still leave messages, and they are damn amusing, but when is the last time you did when you weren’t feeling playful? A voicemail account being setup these days is rare, and even rarer for us not to instinctually hang up immediately when we hear the start of an intro to it telling us to leave one. I remember when I was younger, not getting a phone call every day at least 3 or 4 times sent you into a spiral of depression, now I feel like the constant “connection” can do the exact same thing.
How are we to really connect with someone and fight for things we truly think are worthwhile when we are stuck in the digital void where we say enough to feel connected but never pull the trigger of connecting. And if we do meet someone it is like a job interview, with 10 others lined up afterwards on both ends, we want to be there but at the same time we find “in person” to be a waste of time. Then on top of it all we don’t give ourselves the disconnect needed to let each person we meet sink in. We are constantly missing opportunities to meet people because it is so “convenient” to stay in “limbo”, messaging just enough to stay on the radar but never actually making the effort to go beyond avoiding opening a text, forbid we let the other person know it was “read” before we are “ready”.
I mean you all know what I am talking about, who doesn’t open up Facebook messenger or texts and skim the first few words to avoid that “read” receipt. It is a cyber warfare against true connection and we are all the ones to blame. This goes beyond hunger games and just starves us of humanity and interpersonal connections we need.
We fight for minutes in the day so we can snap judge character and personalities, yet when we only pursue the “instant connection”. And from what I have seen these connections don’t last because they too are based on instant gratification. What if that person we had in queue didn’t have that instant connection due to mitigating circumstances? What if the “perfect first date” which doesn’t exist, was a flop, but the second one would have been truly mind blowing. I believe 100% that you can fall in love, and by that I mean letting time give you the full picture of a person in-front of you making you want more and more of the addictive drug.
I miss the days of talking for hours on the phone with someone I knew I couldn’t see but wanted to so badly. I miss not looking at read receipts and wondering if the other person would reply. I also miss delayed gratification.
I dunno, I enjoy what technology provides for us, but I find it to be a very lonely place where we literally are surrounded by people 24/7. I think there was something to be said about not having instant access to all the information at once, something that inspired us, made us better, and taught us the value of debate/conversation over facts.
So for me, it is going to be a conscious effort for less digital-shenanigans, and more “going on that first date”, second date, and hopefully third.