Monday, July 14, 2014

Impersonal Touch through Technology

My last two posts were on a more personal level. Today, I simply needed an outlet for venting what has been spinning through my mind today. I have been thinking that in society today that everything has become impersonal and completely disconnected. Yes, there are pros to this, but I believe that there are far more cons.
Technology has made it to where we do not have to interact with other humans anymore. I am just as guilty as the next person. I do love having my iPhone, my computer, and Netflix. I have everything I need just a tap or click away. What more is there to want? Right? There have been times (as I can be a recluse) in which I absolutely loved having all of this technology.
Today, and in recent months, I have felt the weight of this burden. The burden of technology and the burden of human interaction slowly slipping away. Come September, I have been without a Facebook page for two years. The horror! Haha! Seriously though, without having this, I have shunned myself from the world. I still have a phone. I still can make and receive phone calls and text messages. I still have the same phone number that I have had for the last 12 years. I have lived at the same address for over 7 and a half years. I have not gone anywhere. I have not moved into the desert without any means of being contacted. I simply do not have a Facebook profile.
My post from 2 weeks ago, I mentioned going out with a best friend for her bachelorette party. While we were out, she told me that she missed me and that I should get a Facebook again so we can stay in touch better. I told her that she can call me or send me a text message and she let me know that doing that was too much work because she is already always on Facebook and could just pop a message my way.
I do not know how much Facebook has changed in the last nearly two years, but sending a text message is incredibly easy. Or it is for me.
Without a Facebook, I do not know what is going on with friends or family. I call, send text messages, and pictures of my growing son to those that I think may be interested in hearing from me.
I do not want a Facebook. I do not need a Facebook. I have enjoyed this time in not having one. My family and some friends catch me up on the occasional drama that occurs in the social networking world. On the other side of it, I tried to download an application from the Apple App Store yesterday and found out that I HAVE to have a Facebook to use it. It did not tell me before I downloaded it that I needed a Facebook account. I did not find out until it was already loaded onto my phone and I went to use the application. Needless to say, it got deleted. Seriously? That is the only way to log in. Sigh. Oh well.
That aside, what really bothers me is that we do not have to talk to people anymore. We can send a quick text message. Which is wonderful, don't get me wrong. I still do enjoy the random phone call. The card or letter coming in the post.
With technology, it seems like we stopped caring about feeling. With technology, dating is nearly impossible and ridiculously impersonal. Just shoot me a text message, tell me to have a great day, and do it again tomorrow. Freaking awesome. Or I send you a text message and never get a reply. Yes, life is busy and things happen. I am guilty of not sending a prompt reply. I am guilty of taking days to reply. This is not because I am being a dick. This is because of many reasons. Sometimes I get busy and the message gets pushed down. More often than not I reply, think I tapped 'Send' and go about my day. Eventually I start to wonder why that a-hole never responded to me. Oops! That is because I am the a-hole and have the message still sitting there waiting for it's journey to the other side. Yes, okay, I never said I was perfect. I did mention that I was guilty of this, as much as the next fella.
I apologize, my thoughts were not completely collected in an organized manner prior to starting this post.
 I am learning that we can easily cast things and people aside much more quickly through technology. Why talk about any issues or why tell someone you think it is best to part ways? We have this amazing bit of technology that makes it easy to ignore someone. Holy cow. Send me a text message and tell me, "Hey. It has been great, but I am going to go my way and you should probably go your way." Thank goodness for that bit of honesty. Now I can move forward and not be wondering what the heck is going on.
What really is bothering me is that my class reunion for our 10 years was this last weekend. Or through yesterday. I was not invited to this event. Nor were several other people that I still am in contact with from high school. Apparently there was a private and select group or event created on Facebook to invite a select group of people to the reunion. I was not invited, as I just mentioned. Maybe because I do not have a Facebook. To be honest, I do not know that I would have been invited even if I did. I do not know that I was part of the right crowd. I doubt I was. I would not have even gone, had I been invited. It is just the lack of thought that bothers me.
Each year when I have my son's birthday (he turned 6 this year), I mail out invitations. Through the actual post. We have a party and afterward, I handwrite thank you cards and again sent them through the post to the person's home address. I also do this around Christmas and the coming year. I love to send post. I love to get it. I love a good phone call. A quick text message is just as good. I love to see the person I am talking to. Be able to reach out and touch them, if it is necessary to do so, or the urge strikes me. To see their face and get an idea of how they REALLY are. To actually know I am being heard and for that person to know I am hearing them.
Technology is a blessing. I definitely am a fan of it. At 1 in the morning, when I cannot sleep, have finished reading the current book, and am ready for something new, I can turn on my nook and borrow a book, right that moment, from the library or download the e-book from amazon. I also enjoy it when I want to catch up on some silly show. I can turn on my Netflix and watch 4 straight episodes until my eyelids begin to droop. I do not have to wait for weeks to see an episode of something.
On the other hand, I think that it is starting to pull us apart from one another. What I am saying is, I miss you humans. Send me a letter or call me up. Ask to meet at the book store or to have a quick drink.

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