I was innocently meandering through my Facebook today when I noticed 3 new friend requests. I always get an optimistic grin on my face when someone wants to be friends with me – I must have made a damn good impression is what I tell myself. Imagine my surprise and my confusion when I do not even recognize the people friending me – what up wit dat??
I have noticed that immediately after a party or an event I tend to get an influx of friend requests. I can still drop it like it’s hot and can even hold a fairly intelligent conversation if forced – that must be the reason for the insurgence – right? I understand the concept that when we meet someone for the first time we may get the itch to get to know them better or at the very least learn a little more about them. I can even comprehend the little voice inside of us that tells us we really should get to know that person that everyone else we know seems to know – so why not just do the easy sure fire thing – request that person as a friend on Facebook – even if they have absolutely no idea who we are. Doesn’t it seem a little strange that you would invite someone to be your friend who has no idea who you are? Or rather – you invite someone to be your friend when you have no idea who they are…..really?
Our society seems to be – no – our society is absolutely moving towards a totally non verbal existence that is sort of starting to freak me out. More and more texts are being sent and fewer and fewer calls are being made. Letters and thank you cards fall to the wayside as instant messages, email, text and face book messages tear the page out of Emily Post’s proper little book of etiquette and spin us into a new realm of communication. It is easier to send an abbreviated text from one room to another in the same house than it is to lean your head out of the door and ask your partner to turn the music down so you can finish the words that are floating across your Kindle. How did we ever let the sound of the words “I love you” change into a non verbal “I ♥ u”? I find myself wondering out loud more often than not about the shortcuts we take in relationships and communication that are changing us and short changing us each and every time we pick up that phone and type rather than talk. It is so simple to type in the words we mean to say – even as we are busy with 10 other things – and simply move on to the next task at hand. But to articulate feelings – to allow the sound of our voices to tell our truths must come from the heart – through the brain – and out of our mouths – and we have to actually pay attention to what we are saying and, if we are lucky, to look into the eyes of the one we are saying those things to. That is how we get to know someone – really know someone – right?
Don’t get me wrong here – I love my Facebook. Love getting the word out, making fun of my kids and touching base with long lost friends and family. It is quick and easy and entertaining. But I do not want the real and the personal relationships in my life to be quick and easy and entertaining…..ok – maybe easy – and maybe entertaining but never, ever quick.
We need to find a balance I guess – between the written and the spoken word – between the truth and the fiction – between the text and the call so that when we accept a friend into our lives we actually might even get to know who they are.
You May Also Like:
About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.