Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I'm Curious - Are We Connecting When We Text and E-mail? - Day 5

I woke up this morning thinking about how often my phone rings vs. dings. The former is a call, the latter is an electronic communication. I find that I get far more texts and emails than phone calls. Frankly, I prefer the phone. I want to hear my friends, and I want to connect on a human level with colleagues and new acquaintances. I want to have spontaneous conversations that evolve out of a human dialogue.

Laying in bed I pondered whether or not we are really connecting when we text and email. I suspect that the x and y generations would say "hell ya". But what kind of connecting is it?

This line of inquiry got me thinking that every friend who texts or emails me ultimately looks and feels the same on my device screen; there is nothing unique or specific to the typography that in anyway conjures the way my friend "feels" to me, at least not in the same way a phone call would. Of course, each person's writing and content is different, and each person has their style, but the quick texts all seem to be the same, and personal writing style does not make me feel any more or less connected.

Truth be told if I cannot be with my friend, then I would at least like to hear their voice.  I love the variations, the nuances, the radical differences between my friends mannerisms and voices that come through their personal "phone tone" i.e. inflection, emphasis, vocal character and quality. I also love to hear them laugh, something I cannot do via text or email, and NO, I am sorry, 'lol' just is not the same!

I guess maybe I need to move to "facetime" or skype or google hangouts, but even those options feel inadequate, people look different and they seem distracted by their computers.

Clearly I am a product of my upbringing and am having difficulty with the changes that are happening technologically. Do not get me wrong, I am not a techno-phobe. However, it seems to me that we think that when we text, email, or reach out on facebook we are actually connecting, and in a certain sense, I guess we are. I just think this type of "connection" lacks the humanity that face-to-face meetings and phone calls have. I crave that human connection.

I suppose I am thinking about all of this because I have recently been spending a lot of time texting, emailing and facebooking, thinking that I am a.) getting things done, and b.) connecting, but at the end of the day, I do not have a lot to show for all of it, and I am still sitting alone at my computer, not feeling as connected as I would like to.

What do you think of email, text and other techno means of communication as they relate to connection?

5 thanksgivings:
  1. I am grateful for opportunities to be with my friends.
  2. I am grateful for all of my friends.
  3. I am grateful for the wisdom my friends share with me.
  4. I am grateful for the wind that is connecting with me nature right now.
  5. I am grateful for technology.

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