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 feel the same way about social media. I no longer post much of anything on Facebook, and I make an effort to email, or call, or actually physically catch up with friends and family. I had this weird moment once at the supermarket where a girl I knew from school, who was a couple years younger than me, bumped into me. She knew my kids names and ages, and mentioned something that I had posted about. It felt weird. Really weird. I decided then that if I had something to say, I would TELL people, rather than post it and hope the right people tuned in.

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  2. My theory is that Facebook (probably more than other social media and email) has made us all lonelier and more real-friendless than we ever were before. I had been very addicted to Facebook, but deleted my account completely a few weeks ago. I’d thought that I had made good connections on there, but the truth was that most were faux friendships. 😦 I know this because only two of them have really bothered to keep in touch with me since. The others have just asked those two where I am and what happened to me, but don’t wonder quite enough to take it upon themselves to drop me even a short personal email. Facebook can be a good tool to keep in touch, but overall it has made us far more isolated than we ever were before. It gives a false sense of closeness that is like eating junk food–it fills us up but doesn’t give us what we really need.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your FB experience, wittybizgal. I do think you’re right about social media isolating us. I believe we lose track of how many of our online relationships are faux, and you said. I’m not ready to delete my FB account though because I do enjoy it, but I really need to make an effort not to rely on that as my only contact with certain people.

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  3. I’m with you on this one, Linda. Added to the fact that many of my friends are retired while I work off and on, it’s really difficult to spend time with my real friends. I told a friend of mine just lately that we get lazy with our friendships. We see each other on Facebook and think we’re visiting. While Facebook is great it shouldn’t replace the real thing.

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  4. I know exactly what you’re talking about and I’m not sure how to feel about it or what to do about it. I just know that I do have some really amazing close, real friends I talk to all the time. I also know that I can be very close to someone just online and only talk to them on the phone or through email just a few times a year. My friendships aren’t required to be “kept up” all the time. Real friendship, for me, transcends the form of communication and time altogether. There’s a connection that happens that bursts through even social media. Not sure if that makes sense. I do know that I’d love to meet you one day in real life. Maybe I can come visit you and Kasie. Don’t you guys live by each other?

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    1. I did form close relationships simply through letter writing in the past, Michelle, so I don’t think they necessarily have to be in the flesh. Nor do they have to be a daily contact. I just feel like I’ve become so isolated that I’m selfish.

      Yes, Kasie and I live in adjoining towns. So if you come to visit her, I definitely want to meet you! 🙂

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  5. Greetings from Brazil.
    It is not always that I find some time to visit your blog, but every single time I do it, I feel happy because I like the way you always write. Congratulations, your blog rocks.

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