Musings, Real Life, Social Media

The good ol’ days of communication

Don’t get me wrong, I take as much advantage of communication technology as I can. I email. I text. I blog. I juggle as many social media accounts as possible. But how often do I really talk to anyone?

I know. I know. Yes, this is another post bemoaning my mixed feelings on social media. Sorry, but I’m trying to work something out. I love that line in a current commercial where the man says, “Fiber makes me sad.” Well, I think social media makes me sad.

Recently, when I had to sort through all the accumulated email after being pretty much offline for over a week, I realized that the ratio of personal emails to “business” was about 199 to 1. How did that happen? I used to have real friends. We kept in touch. We used to actually converse by email. Before that, we wrote letters. By hand. On paper.

Now, my “friends” and I wave at each other on Facebook … if even that. I see their photos. I know what games they play. What trips they take. I read the funny things their children, or grandchildren, say or do. I might even know what they had for dinner. All that deceives me into thinking we’re in touch.

The reality is people don’t pour out their hearts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or even their blogs, as a rule. I had penpals way back in the dark ages … er … the 80s. We corresponded via twelve … fifteen … twenty page letters! Some of those women became true, if long-distance, friends. Two of them are among those I wave at on Facebook. The others have fallen by the wayside.

How did I get to be this friendless person with a thousand acquaintances? Really, that should make me sad. Truly sad. I need to do something about that.

I wish for you an abundance of real friends … and if you have them, don’t just “wave” at them.

18 thoughts on “The good ol’ days of communication”

  1. I agree up to an extent, I went through similar emotions regarding the evils of social media a while back, then I realised that what’s happening is that communication is changing, and we’re all sounding too much like pensioners in their rocking chairs thinking about the good ol’ times, I do not mean that in a nasty way, just in a joking way.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree, we did perhaps, communicate better before. I think, eventually, we will have a great divide. Those who are online, and those who aren’t, and those who aren’t and who do not learn to evolve with the times, will get left behind. Sad but true.

    The good thing about social media, is that it’s instant communication…and also allows us to be friends with people we would have never met before. It’s a mix bag really…


    1. Maybe it’s just a problem for me, Alannah. I’ve spent too much time forming surface “friendships” and neglecting real ones. I do like the instant communication factor, and as you said on your blog, Twitter is a great way to stay on top of the news. Obviously, I appreciate new ways to communicate. I’ve been online since 1992 and have kept up pretty well with the changes, but sometimes I feel like my total existence will end up online.


      1. Oh no, don’t think it’s just you Linda, I think it’s an entire generation of people who remember how things were BEFORE computers. The younger ones, they’ve had computers and mobiles from the start, so to them, that’s just how things are.

        I got lucky, I have been using computers since the 80’s so it all became a natural progression, though even I was shocked in the beginning…


        1. Alannah, once I asked my 13 year-old granddaughter how many of her hundred-plus FB “friends” are real friends. She said, “All of them.” That’s what I’m talking about — this misconception of what FRIEND really means. I love the interaction with my virtual friends, that’s why I’m still involved with social media, but I realized I had started to interact on that same level with people who used to be more than that. You know … the FRIENDS who’ve shared with me their real life, their hearts and souls, their problems, not just those who share their public life with me.


  2. I don’t mind so much… FB allows me to keep family friends updated on photos of the kids without my having to print them and snail mail them. Yay. Twitter is, well, a very strange phenomena … no comment there. Although, I have made one, two very lovely friend through that. I have a few close friends and we talk when we can and when that happens, it’s great. And yes, there is something left to be desired with all the ‘waving’ going on.. but when we make the time to actually visit each other, like friends in San Jose, it feels all the more worth it.
    I have days where I feel kind of let down by social media, but I figure it is what it is, and when I want face time with someone I book it… nothing like seeing a friend, getting a real hug and responding to her/him in real time.
    So, when are we having lunch together? : D


    1. That’s all I’m saying, Jess, I need to take the time to have a real conversation or visit with friends. I’ve been neglecting that. I’m not about to go cold turkey on social media. Though I can’t seem to get back into Twitter. I’m not sure why. It’s not because of Google+. I’m hardly ever on there either. Maybe I’m going through a late-life crisis or something. 😉

      I’ll email you about lunch … or should I catch you on FB or Twitter????? 🙂


  3. I saw that fiber commercial this morning and thought of your blog. 😀
    Reach me whichever way is easiest. FB, phone, email, …


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