Maybe it was the time I called my son on his cell phone to tell him to keep the noise down upstairs.
Or perhaps it was the day I saw my daughter and her friend, one at the desk and one on the laptop, sitting three feet away from each other, chatting online.
I’m not sure when I realized that talking face to face had gone out of style.
Have you noticed that?
Never have we had so many ways to communicate with other human beings. Look me up on Facebook, read my xanga, catch my Twitter, and don’t forget to check out my YouTube videos. Oh, and here’s my cell number–text me sometime!!
I’m curious…do we know each other better now that we talk so often? Has this constant flow of words and images improved our relationships, brought us closer together?
Facebook, for instance, which is enormously popular, is a wonderful way to network with a large number of people very quickly. However, it seems to be largely geared to exchanging quick one-liners, and if you have a thousand friends, how many do you ever actually see face to face?
Compare that to many years ago when people met at the village well each morning while they were drawing water. Or even not so many years ago when young mothers chatted over the fence while they hung diapers on the clothesline. Those people probably saw the same dozen or so people regularly, and rarely talked with anyone else.
I wonder how their relationships were compared to ours? Are we more or less intimate? Do we share our hearts more or less easily with our friends? How much have we gained, and have we sacrificed anything in the shift toward technology?
It would be really interesting to know.
One thing that bothers me is that it’s easy to ignore our face-to-face relationships in favor of the long-distance ones. I’ve often noticed young people hanging out together, saying little to each other, but busily texting other friends.
Instead of talking while traveling, it becomes easier for each person to become isolated into their own little world. Get on the airplane, clap on the headphones, and close your eyes. How many opportunities do we miss by that?