Sitting on an immensely crowded train, I look around and it seems I am the only one with my head up. I look out the window at the beautiful colours of morning – am I the only one who sees these things anymore?
Everyone around me have their heads down, cell phone in hand – texting, checking their Facebook, playing random games or just plain avoiding eye contact with anyone around. What happened to bring us to a point where we are so epically reliant on our cell phones? We take them everywhere we go, they wake us up in the morning, we take them to the bathroom, we have them in our cars. They play our music and even do our banking for us.
Gone are the days where you actually went in to the bank and spoke to a person to do your banking, gone are the days of cd shopping and meeting friends for coffee – I mean, why should we venture OUT into the world when we can stay in our very own cocoon of convenience?
Some say that social media has increased communication, but this communication is’nt real, it’s superficial – just because you can see what your “friends” are doing, buying, quoting or “saying” doesn’t mean you have a real relationship with them. I have a “list” of friends who I catch up with sporadically through text or status updates, but I don’t really know them, nor do they really know me.
Where did the art of communication go? When did the term “facebook me” or “text me” replace the hand shake or the face to face wave? Everything today is quick, simple, and impersonal. This is not the kind of world I want my children to have their “childhood” in, I remember the thrill of playing outside and writing actual letters to “pen pals”, the joy of receiving a card or letter in the mail (remember those?) – the other day I walked into the living room, my two year old son was standing at the coffee table, I asked him what he was doing and he replied “just checking my email” …. Really?
When last did you feel truly connected to a person? When was your last seemingly endless conversation under the stars?
I challenge you all, even if for only a minute – put your phone away, turn off the iPad and look up at the faces of the world around you. Smile at the old lady walking by you at the store, sit on the floor with your children and play or create a form of art you can look back on. The next time you decide to send a text or to “facebook” your friend / girlfriend / boyfriend…dial the number – even if just to say “I was thinking about you” or make the time to write it down. Take the time to put your feelings and thoughts into words so that on a rainy day or just a day that doesn’t go quite right that person can go back, open the letter and remember how good it made them feel.