Imagined Connectivity

In Essays, The Daily Drool on May 24, 2009 at 9:36 am

Communication these days is suffering from a sever case of the “Immediates.”  Email (the replacement letter) has been replaced with “tweets” – one sentence updates broadcast to anyone and everyone who “subscribes” to, well, to you.  Phone calls have been replaced with text messages – sometimes coded so heavily in abbreviation that the recipient has to stop the car, pull over, and call their younger, hipper sibling, for translation.   We’ve stopped making an effort, scraped past the bottom of the etiquette barrel, and jumped directly into “Narcism Central” – because that’s what it is, to refuse to take time to make contact with another human being- it’s become all about “ME.”  Time has become such a precious commodity that no one wants to share it, to give a person their full attention – so instead we get used to these technological meetings and their inherent shorthand, and everyone feels tuned in, but no one is really connected.

And I’m not excluding myself.  For the past couple months or so I’ve been pretty wrapped up in my own happenings and mountains – content to be briefed on my friends whereabouts and whatnots via my Facebook homepage – and they likewise.  What seemed a matter of ease in a time of much chaos has proven itself to be a path to isolation, as we haven’t all of us gotten together in so long that I can’t, without looking to my calendar, remember when it was we all last laughed.  I haven’t had shoulders to lean on, because I haven’t been able to tell them I needed leaning.  I have no idea what other friendly duties I may have been absent for, as no one has been contacting me directly either.  It’s really, in a word,  horrifying.

Add to this the fact that dating these days has developed it’s own nasty crutch – as if there weren’t enough mystery surrounding the other sex, now you have to scour emails and texts for sarcasm and innuendo, when Once Upon a Time you just had to decode your paramour’s voice.  Where once you had only to worry about whether or not they’d call, now you have to navigate the all too confusing waters of text, vs. email, vs. a cyber befriending…  And shouldn’t it all just come to whether or not the person considers you worth the time to pick up the phone and speak to you?  In my book, that’s what we all should be looking for – an admirer that values your attention enough to give you his/her own!  

How weak lie plants without the depth to stretch!  

Because that’s where the roots grow and take hold, and tie strong; in the giving and the sharing.  

We spend all this time making time to pour into endeavors designed to help us make enough money to be able to spend it doing things with the people we love… but what if the cost is that we no longer love as deeply due to the fact that we do everything in shorthand?  When everything is immediate, do we not lose the appreciation and respect a hard-won victory creates?  Do not our victories then become cheaper, tinny in some respects, when compared to those stolen moments of lovers long past?  Do five minutes today mean as much as they did ten years ago?   When does quality surpass quantity, and will we ever break free of our inter-lust long enough to pick up a pen, put it to paper, and send someone we love a love-letter?  

Because in our increasingly pre-packaged, disposable world, I fear that we ourselves are becoming disposable – loosing our humanity in our search for ever more immediate satisfaction, and thus wandering this digital earth, never truly satisfied, never truly making contact; lost in the battery powered illusion of connectedness.


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