You can text, call, e-mail, or FaceTime me. You can hop into my Twitter or Instagram DM’s. If you’re feeling frisky, you can even Snapchat me.
So many avenues lead to my destination yet we lack communication. So, where’s the disconnect?
“Sorry, I’ve been busy.” Empty apologies that are expected to lessen the blow of our indifferent behavior. We vocalize our desire for meaningful conversation yet don’t take advantage of our ability to reach out. So much hesitation to put in work to make relations work.
If my understanding of history has taught me anything it is that back when people had two methods of communication they took full advantage of it. One either had to travel to visit and spend time with a loved one or write to them. I’ve read 17th, 18th, and 19th century letters that contained an intimacy I have yet to experience in my present life.
My favorite 19th century novel, Pride and Prejudice, albeit fiction, instilled in me a longing for something I doubt my generation is capable of. The letters between Elizabeth and her friends, sisters, and Mr. Darcy, were filled with controlled fury, passion, and careful articulation of emotions. The letters served to bridge the distance. Which leads me to wonder, why is it that today we are incapable of bridging the distance between us and our loved ones despite the networks we are actively a part of?
Why do we shy away from consistent communication?
Why are we afraid to express our thoughts to those who we are thinking of?
Dare I blame social media for society’s diminishing capacity to create meaningful, intimate relationships?
I am no better than anyone else, I too partake in the over-sharing culture that social media has facilitated. I post important milestones in my life on Facebook instead of personally informing my family members. I post to let others know Hey, I’m alive and I’m doing things with my life. No discussion, no interaction, simply putting it out there for everyone to see and keep informed. Meanwhile, I sit here and wonder why I do not feel close to the people around me.
I try my best to be the change I want to see in this world. I am an intuitive introvert. It is easy for me to fall for the allure of social media since it serves as an “in lieu of the awkwardness that comes with physical interactions.” But within me exists an extrovert that wants to get to know others beyond the surface level.
I want to know how you think, why you think the things you think, how you became to be the person that you are.
Since I feel I express myself better in writing, I channel my inner Elizabeth when I text and write to others. Contrary to what many my age have said, it is possible to create intimacy within texts — the key to this is articulation and expression. I do not shy away from the long text messages that people complain of. I will write you a paragraph, sometimes even five, if it means effectively conveying my present thoughts to you.
In return I’ve received brief responses that, I must admit, irk me. (I will not dedicate an entire paragraph to how receiving an “okay” as a response to a paragraph rages me.)
I understand that we all lead busy lives, and I’m glad we have found things that occupy our time, but it is not difficult to maintain a connection with those we truly care about. Or, is it?