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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shallow! No Diving!

Am I just getting old?  Or are things changing around us?  Have Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and Scruff and Grindr and Growlr and Loopt all changed the way we do business?  I feel like they are making our lives shallow.  I feel like they have cheapened us.  And like we want nothing more than a quick status update or picture.  And, hey now, that's it.  Nothing beyond that.  30 seconds and I'm done with you. 

I am friends with, shall we say, a lot of people.  Young, old, odd, normal, the whole lot.  What about young people today who are actively engaged in searching out a long-term relationship partner.  Are there any?  I see plenty of status updates, pictures, and chatting but I don't see too many dates with fully engaged intentions of seeking out a relationship.  You know, the kind of relationships that will carry us way out into our 60s, 70s or even 80s.  Dare I go out on a limb here and say that I think we are happy with the way all of the aforementioned websites and apps have allowed us to not have to deal with the actual reality of 10-, 20, 30-plus year relationships.  I'll shoot you a picture but I certainly don't want to have to wake up next to you -- well, more than one or two mornings, anyway.  We don't have to work at anything anymore.  I will simply defriend you if I don't like you.  Well, either that or just "hide" you to avoid an actual, live, in-person conversation or confrontation about an issue. 

I would guess that it is easier to handle the virtual life rather than real life.  It requires little.  It costs me next to nothing.  And I don't have to practice my communication skills.  I can tell you that I'm 40 when I'm actually 50 because the chances of us ever meeting are next to none.  I can say "LOL" or "WTF" because it's fast, easy -- and we all know what they mean nowadays.  I can "like" your status update or make a quick quip or snappy comment about your two sentences.  And leave it at that.  That's it.  The extent of our relations many times now.  Someone said to me a while back that "I'm too scared of real life to actually live it."  Virtual life is much easier. 

What do you think the long-term effect is on our world?  Our families?  Our homes and relationships?  Or work world?  What do you think that the family unit will look like in 50 years?  Or homes?  I think our homes will exist virtually rather than actually.  Humm.  Food for thought. 


Dave2 said...

I waffle. On one hand, I think the ease of forming online friendships is breaking down barriers every day, and our society if moving forward for the better because of it. On the other hand, personal communication is a dying art, so the bonds we form as humans are weaker than they've ever been. So we're moving forward into a brighter future together... we're just not doing it holding hands.

Humanity is nothing if not adaptable. I'm sure it will all work out in the end... but I have no idea what it will look like.

Jim said...

I heard a new phrase recently and I like it. In fact I'm going to use it more. When I am one-on-one with a person I want them to be "fully engaged" or fully "in person" with me. This means they must be "off the grid" of all social media and be fully present with me.

Mark in DE said...

Most of those websites have their place. Facebook allows me to passively stay in touch with 500+ people with whom I could never keep up with if I had to call them on the phone or see them in person. But looking for a long-term relationship partner is different. You're not trying to keep up with them, you're trying to get to know them. This must be done in person. People need to be mature and keep technology in its place.