Saturday, April 30, 2011

Technology vs. Communication

In an Internet era, are we losing our ability to really communicate? The means of technology has allowed very quick and easy ways to get our message across...but in doing so are we sacrificing having true intimate and heartfelt connections with those we love? Just some thoughts to ponder.

I read this article recently and thought it had good points to share. It was written mostly with thoughts of communication in regards to "romance"...with our significant other, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc...but I think a lot of the valid points here can be translated into the many different types of relationships we have in our lives. So here goes. Take from it what you will =)


     "If you miss me...you can't text, you can't e-mail, you can't post it on my Facebook wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me." I began to think of all the billions of intimate exchanges sent daily via fingers and screens, bouncing between satellites and servers. With all this texting, e-mailing, and social networking, I started wondering, are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?
     It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. "Hello?" Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then.
    Now we exchange numbers but text instead of calling because it mitigates the risks of early failure and eliminates those deafening moments of silence. Now anticipation builds. Bdoop. "It was NICE meeting u". Both sides overanalyze every word. We talk to a friend, and impromptu Cyrano: "He wrote nice in all caps. What does that mean? What do I write back?" Then we write a response and delete it 10 times before sending a message that will appear 2 care, but not 2 much. If all goes well, a date will be arranged.
    Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what's it really good for?
    There is some argument about who actually invented text messaging, but I think it's safe to say it was a man. Multiple studies have shown that the average man uses about half as many words per day as women, thus text messaging. It eliminates hellos and goodbyes and cuts right to the chase. Now, if that's not male behavior, I don't know what is. It's also great for passing notes. There is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. Think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover's ear.
     Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. In some ways, it's no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn't like to be publicly adored? Just remember that what you post is out there and there's some stuff you can't unsee.
     But the reality is that we communicate with every part of our being, and there are times when we must use it all. When someone needs us, he or she needs all of us. There's no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.
     We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It's personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it's flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It's the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, "This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not"

12 comments:

  1. I always wonder what Paul would have done in this technological age. Like would he have utilized Facebook and twitter and texting to remain in contact with all of the churches??? would he have constantly been texting people scripture and affirmation and emailing long letters to all sorts of different leaders and what not? or would he have completely cast out all technology in order to see the churches face to face and build relationships with them? how would he balance the two? hmmmmm

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  2. Haha I totally have thought about what Zach said too. I'm not sure. I think there is an appropriate time for technology and there are a lot of inappropriate times too. I think I lean towards less technology than more. I like the intimacy. I think our blogging is so great, but I see so much value in our lunch meetings and Saturday nights as well. I think both can be utilized in great ways, but I would hate to see them used in exchange of each other. If someone is really hurting, quality time and physical touch is essential. If someone needs a little encouragement, a loving text or email is great too. Hmmm this is very thought provoking, not sure what I completely believe.

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  3. i really like that article. very interesting.

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  4. zach! true! I will have to ask him one day...

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  5. Super don't like technology in this momemnt, but its allowing me to read this article & write a response to you. Handwritten in beautiful. Showing up & actually being with someone fully, taking away the technology barrier & noise means the world. Thank you for having lunch with me on Saturday. So much fun & I hope to do it again soon, before my next hair appointment. You are wonderful company and a beautiful person.

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  6. I agree with Corinne. I like technology for its benefits for research in medicine, being able to connect with friends across the world, and blogging like this with my circles peeps haha. But A LOT of me dislikes technology. A lot of me wants to be back in the olden days where people had to make plans and make commitments which they had to stick to. Very interesting!

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  7. I dig this. Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the last paragraph or so. Thought it was a nice rap up. It is interesting to see how more and more technology has played a role in our daily lives. We so take it for granted, the ease of everything. Even these blogs. While they allow simple summary of thoughts and feelings, technology misses out on that personal relationship. Hmm. interesting thoughts.

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  8. Very interesting, I'm glad you are open minded & aware of the past & the future. But, i must say......i haven't seen you in about 5 months........& Mama is gettn weepy.......needs a hug from her girl :/

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  9. "Vulnerability is the essence of romance". So much truth. This was a really interesting article. I gave a presentation and wrote a paper on this topic for class on this topic last quarter. There's so much to the idea of social media communication etc. There's the whole aspect of a virtual identity and all that that implies. There's so much to that cyber communication that is a facade and it gives us a boldness that we would otherewise never have. So interesting.

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  10. Interesting article. I think there are pros and cons to communicating via technology. I agree with the others that I am so grateful for our Circles communication via blogs and Facebook,but it wouldn't be the same if I wasn't actually talking to you all in person and investing in relationships outside of the technology. I think we need to have balance and not let technology be the only way we communicate. Thanks for sharing this Charity :)

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  11. Like it!
    embarrassingly can relate to a lot of it:/

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