I’ve got beef with the modern world and you might too.
Supposedly we live in a world of connectivity.
A world where you can enter something into a search engine and instantly have the answer.
A world where you can text or email someone a zillion miles away from you and depending on if they’re awake or not, get a response.
A world where it would be genuinely impossible to hide the faces of actors like they did in Home Improvement (Wilson Wilson) only to have it revealed on the very last episode.
But if this is the case, then why do I feel so disconnected?
By this I mean, why the heck do I feel so remote sometimes?
I’m not sure if you have ever felt like this, maybe you have, haven’t you haven’t, but here’s the deal because the modern world and I?
We’ve got bad blood.
Here’s the thing. I think communication and connectivity is too easy, so we’ve gotten lazy.
I’m getting married in November, which is super exciting. The thing is, I’ve found that getting married makes you HYPER aware of like… your life.
You have to decide who you want at your ceremony, who you want at your reception, who you want in your bridal party, marrying you, doing readings… the list goes on.
So you sort of have to line everyone up and make calls and it can get really confusing sometimes because you may think you’re super close with someone but they may not think they are close with you or vice versa.
But it makes you aware that actually, in this age of connectivity we’re actually super disconnected and we’ve let it numb us in many ways.
I am in a struggle to keep my wedding invites off of Facebook. As a result of this when it came to Josh and My engagement party I contacted everyone (through text) for their addresses to post actual invitations.
Here was my first surprise.
The number of people who didn’t text me back.
My engagement party was purposefully very small. Mostly because we were hosting it in my backyard and large events can seem a little… impersonal. So we were very specific about who we invited. It struck me as really weird that people I considered super important to be at my reasonably small celebration couldn’t even bother texting back.
And it happens more and more. I am one of those people who like… texts or calls people out of the blue just because I think it’s important to make sure people KNOW they matter.
You may not have seen them in years but regardless, if someone’s your friend, they’re your friend no matter what distance or time has passed.
But this is what’s bumming me out recently is that I will text people, about things, wedding stuff to catch up, whatever… and never hear back. Now I’m not a mean person or anything, it’s just people forget. Frequently, I will speak with them and they will be like ‘Sorry I saw your text… missed call… whatever… but forgot to call… text… whatever you back.’
I often forget when I get texts or messages or emails too. Which has got me thinking.We have everything at our finger tips to reach out and connect with people in a way a million times better than before but we don’t.
We don’t have to share common telephones between several houses, we don’t have to post letters overseas and wait weeks for a reply… we have do everything instantly, whenever we want.
But we don’t.
And worse, the connection that does go on we allow to become less purposeful, lethargic, and forgettable.
By no means am I saying I am perfect and never forget to call or text people, or whatever, but am sort of just wondering what we need to do to bring intention back into our connection and communication with people.
There was a song, ‘I’m Going to Sit Write Down and Write Myself a Letter.’ about writing yourself a letter and pretending its from the person you care about.
It sort of reminds me of this feeling… like you don’t matter because you’re so forgettable… I mean it’s great to have friends, to feel appreciated, and we should strive to do that.
The thing is, I’d rather have fewer stronger proper connections with people than a few hundred friends on Facebook.
Maybe our wholes lives have turned into Twitter. We have people who ‘follow’ us, but not people who are truly ‘friends’ with us. Or if we do have friends occasionally those connections are transient and disposable.
I am bringing this up because it is about writing and writing with intention.
Maybe we should do it more. Maybe try harder to communicate, maybe try harder to connect in real ways. In valuable ways, in ways that are more purposeful.
I’m not sure.