The reason there are so many publications in this world, so many news and media outlets and so much water cooler gossip to go around is that there is just always something new to talk about. There are over seven billion people in this world that have something to say and there is always an earthquake, a riot, a celebrity hook-up, a political issue, a religious calling, a new author, or a random Snapple cap for them to talk about. And yet, all seven billion of us don’t really talk to one another these days. Sure, we’ll talk to our blog, our Facebook Wall or in the comments section of some Huffington Post article that makes us mad – but any worldly communication always seems to take place behind some sort of virtual veil. And, you can’t really tell the person from the text – beyond our ability to write in shouty caps lock, end sentences with a bunch of exclamation, toss in a smiley face or add an “lol” (because, really, what online sentence doesn’t either start or end with an “lol” these days?). We’re not really looking into each other’s eyes, seeing the hand gestures that go with our words or really communicating.
Technology is great, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to sound like I was born in 1935, complaining about how those youngsters are clicking away on “them laptop things.” I’m guilty of everything I wrote about above. But, I also get sad about that fact. I, for instance, suck at the phone – at placing, returning or even answering phone calls. It’s just easier to text, or email or IM or Facebook message – you can write your “lol” without actually having to go to the effort of laughing out loud (or smiling, for that matter) when you’re feeling lazy about it. But, I know I miss out on a lot with that terrible phone-aversion habit. We can all admit that there isn’t as much of a connection in social media connections. You gain 500 sort of friendships but can’t really maintain a handful of those “bury a dead body with you” real friendships. And then, in the end, you’re left alone holding that shovel and digging that hole.
Just once a week – just once! – let’s call someone with a question instead of texting them. I know I get pleasantly surprised when some of my friends randomly call me, just because. So let’s be that “just because” call to someone else. Hell, Facebook while you do it…but do it. It’ll be worth it.