Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Speak up!

I have come to learn why I do not keep a journal. My hand would grow tired by thought number two. However, I am proud to be back on here to express myself.  I may not be documenting my entire life, but it makes me feel better to share what I feel and believe about certain issues, whether they are being read [or heard], or not. I have come to recognize the true reward of self expression and communication. 

I went to my friend's house to watch the Miami Heat - Indiana Pacers game 6, last Thursday.  I sat down to eat dinner with my friend's uncle, minutes before the opening tip-off.  Before taking a bite, he looked around the room, and became welled up in frustration.  As he turned his attention to me, he blurted, "isn't it unbelievable!?"  Seeing that I was about to fall victim to an older gentleman's pointless, frustrated banter, I played dumb: "huh?"  "You know, what is a tweet anyway!?", he exclaimed.  "Well it is expressing yourself through this social network, Twitter," I replied.  "Well who cares about what I'm doing, that I have to tell everyone!?", came blasting out of his lips, as he gathered some food onto his fork.  "Uh I don't know," I responded, playing dumb (and attempting to eyeball the food from the fork to his mouth, to shut him up).  "I just learned what a Facebook was, and now this whole Twitter thing comes along!?  Man, I gotta get up on the times," he said, as the food was entering his mouth.  This time, I responded by shrugging my shoulders, and diverted his attention to the TV.  As I shifted my own attention, I glanced around the room.  Everyone in the room was on their cell phone.

Just a day later, I got into a similar conversation.  I had gotten off work, and was hanging around my boss' house, chatting for a little bit.  Then his wife and I started to get into a conversation about relationships.  We soon shifted to the topic of communication.  She said that she "has no idea how people even know each other anymore.  All they do is text, tweet and facebook each other."  It's scary, but she has a point.  It was estimated in 2009, that 2.5 billion text messages were sent per day in the United States.  And that was only 2009!!  I can see where texting can be useful.  And I must say that I can see how social media is useful, as well.  Short spurts of conversation (reminders and simple notifications) seem to be the best reason to communicate via text or social media.  Unfortunately, having conversations using these outlets, has become the norm.  What makes it difficult to communicate this way?  The truth is evident...it is emotionless.  Aside from punctuation marks, there is no way to decipher what a person is truly trying to express, emotion wise, via text (it is hard to read into some jokes and sarcasm, for the majority of time).  I suppose many would defend it by stating how they recently downloaded the new emoji app, but even that doesn't suffice.  The expressed emotions provided through this app, are usually used in a humorous manner anyway.  

I'm straying too far off topic. 

What is the excuse for people to not simply call each other to communicate (the 'old?' norm)!?  Not enough minutes?  Don't want to talk that much!?  Can't talk?  Oh, and my favorite: "I don't have time to talk!"  Although all the excuses may be valid, the fact that there is time to go on Twitter, Facebook, and type out a 20 page text to send, means that there is enough time to call someone to tell them what is necessary to be told.  No, this isn't being written to single out an individual with horrible communication skills...I am writing this for EVERYONE with poor communication skills.  We have become so accustomed to the vrrt vrrt (the sound of a phone vibrating), that verbal communication is lacking.  How does this even matter in life?  Even if we forget about the relationship aspect of communication, mentioned above, there is still reason for concern.  

I believe that we are slowly slipping in the wrong direction.  Life has become too easily accessible.  We are constantly striving for the easy way out of things, or the easy way to solve something (or get through something).  It is innately ingrained in human beings to be most efficient in what we do.  Therefore, making life easier, makes the tasks at hand easier to perform.  Now, in relation to communication, texting is a human beings wildest dream. Social media is like the icing on the cake.  What is incredible to me, is how far we have strayed from the traditional way of life.  We have lost sight of the important, simple things that life has to offer.  Continuously engulfing ourselves in the madness of life, we have no time for anything else, let alone lay our heads in peace at night.  So, it is correct, we do not have time to call each other anymore.  And verbal communication?  It better be important, because "I only have 3 minutes before I have to keep moving (and when I pick up, I apologize for the noise, I am driving to work)."  No, I am not perfect, nor am I striving to call every single person I know, and talk to them, each and every single day.  That would be outrageous, and wildly uncalled for.  I am just slightly disappointed, and I do not look forward to what is to come in the future.  

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:22b

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