Following up my poem Dinner for one I look at how people look for communication.
Since the dawn of time people have been looking for ways to communicate. It started as drawings on the wall and work its way up to Facebook. But the idea has remained the same. People want to share, and get their ideas across and most importantly they want to be heard.
Sharing yourself with other makes you open and inviting. It’s very common for people to open up about themselves with something vulnerable to get another person’s attention. Sometimes this can go too far and people think things like, “Well if I share something about me then you must want to share something private about yourself.” The problem with this logic is a lot of people don’t want to share their private details with others and they don’t like to become vulnerable. But with the success of the internet and social networking the privacy veil has been lifted. More and more people are willing to show pictures of where they go with their friends and update their status to private matters, “I’m buying fruit!”, “I’m at the mall getting underwear” & “I’m single now.” It’s not too uncommon for someone to look you up and read about you before ever meeting in person.
Where does this all come from?
Well I think for a lot of people they like to get their thoughts across. In the old days a bumper sticker was your personal status update. You’d have to be pretty committed to something, and possible not like your car, but you were making a statement about yourself and you wanted everyone else to know about it, “Mean people suck” or “I’d rather be driving a golf cart.” It shows people who you won’t put up with or an activity you like. In any case you really had to be committed or take a razor blade to it when you’ve changed political parties. Now people can change their status every minute if they want and change their mind everyday if they choose to. But why?
I think people are looking for connections, maybe some are just looking to be noticed or gain the attention of their peers. Some people post bad days and sadness so it opens the door to everyone to cheer them up. I can’t say why people are so public with their information but I know that they want other people to know this stuff about them. It brings a certain amount of importance and dare I say celebrity in this day and age of Reality TV. And I’m no less guilty. I like when people read my blog and reply to my thoughts because it brings a feeling of importance to my life. But thankfully I do other things and it’s not too earth shattering if someone told me that my blog was garbage. But back to the point.
People have gotten so use to having this attention and being able to communicate that they are nearly lost without it and some say addicted to it. I know a girl that posts 5 times a day. I’m not saying she craves attention but if you were all that happy an secure would you repeatedly seek out the comments of others to fill your day, probably not. I know that if I had more friends in my life that would call me I would go out, I wouldn’t have time to type on the computer. I make time because it is my joy and one of the things I feel is a creative outlet but it wouldn’t hurt me if I just stopped typing……
So I find it ironic that when we have so much communication out there people are feeling truly lonely. I know that of my 200 plus friends on Facebook only about 5 ever call me to see how I am doing and about 3 actually say let’s go get a drink. So even as our channels have opened us up to having hundreds of “friends” how many of them listen to you when you have a conversation longer than a twitter or status update. So I think the depth of conversation has begun to suffer and people are increasingly becoming superficial. How can you blame them when your profile reads like a resumé; Eyes: blue, Hair: blond, Greatest fear: spiders. “Well now that I read your profile we should be friends and share our common hair color and hate of spiders.”
Ultimately, I started this blog in the hopes for more communication, more dialogue. I haven’t received too much feedback but for the few people that have contacted me, I was happy to reply. Many people have identified with my pain and my loneliness and I hope more continue to reach out. And if you are a sensible person and you have the ability to talk for at least 30 mins then maybe we should do lunch or dinner and I can write poem about that… I’m working on one called spaghetti and green bean right now. So don’t be starving for conversation go out and talk to someone, talk to me if you want. But make an effort to do more than “like” someone’s status, do more than say I’m sorry when someone is having a bad day. Talk, talk, talk and share your story. You know you want to and plenty of people are willing to listen, including me.