So I wonder as I wander what personal interactions will look like on the street in the next 5 years, given that we now live our lives through Facebook, Twitter and texting.
I was at my cousin’s graduation party and all the children were hanging out in the basement. Me being younger than the old folks, decided to start off hanging out in the land of the yougins. Music was playing and there was occasional laughter- but overall it was pretty quiet. Everyone had their cell phone in hand texting away! Actual interaction among the attendees mainly consisted of demands to pose for a picture with someone’s camera phone. I guess just to show via Facebook that they were there in attendance. My younger cousin even went so far as to get the laptop to show me and her best friend who lives up the street pictures she posted on the Book because we could see them better than on her phone. Seriously? Realizing that I am older than the young folks, I went upstairs with the grown folks. They were laughing and talking to each other about the 70’s, their kids who still live at home and the “joys” of getting older. But they were doing it without responding to the latest chime on their iPhone. Their conversations were face to face, totally free of hand held distraction. And there I was in the middle of it all, able to relate to both worlds but not feeling completely comfortable. It was weird.
As an early 80’s baby I feel like I am the last of the breed who can hold a conversation over a plate of food and leave my cell phone in my purse. I even like to send thank you notes and get well cards through the (gasp) mail! But by the same token I enjoy sending emails and text messages over having telephone conversations. Ugh! Just picking up the phone to call someone requires that I have subject matter at the ready. Gone are the days when people could just spend hours on the phone talking about…well nothing at all. In this instantaneous society I feel like I need to have a purpose in my call, there is no room for phone call randomness. It’s much better to randomly send an “I found the perfect toilet paper!” text, than having a phone conversation about how I’ll never use the CVS brand again. Because really who has time for that?
Even at work when my phone rings I wish in my soul, as allow the call to go to voicemail, that they would just send me an email. Email allows me to answer you when I feel like it. And I like that! If you ask me a question on the phone that I don’t know the answer to I have to pretend that 1. I care 2. that I am listening 3. I will actively spend the rest of my day trying to find the answer for you. When in fact I will do 4. Surf the internet and address your concern at my convenience (usually 30 minutes prior to me leaving for the day).
But maybe this is just me. I’m not on the Book, I’ve never Tweeted, back in the day I was one of the first to let my Black Planet page lapse. So I can safely say that me and technology aren’t particularly fond of each other. But texting and email do suit me just fine! And by stating that, I know that something has changed, because I use to be a phone call every day-or a least a couple times a week kind of teenager. And my teen years aren’t that far behind me. And something keeps changing among us human folks as a whole. When we have folks passing each other on the street and can’t even say hello in person, but they are Facebook friends! What’s up with that? It makes me feel like being so connected all the time is making us all a little more socially awkward when we meet face to face.
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot