Submitted by Anne Wilson
Way back at the ripe age of fourteen, I was a moldable, naive, passionate, and highly emotional teenage girl. I realize that statement is redundant within itself–because, honestly–is there such thing as a lowly emotional teenage girl? 😉 Anyway, I used to have this “no-delete-policy” when it came to blogging back then–or, live-journaling. If I wrote something “too vulnerable,” or just plain whack, it stayed. Plus, no one really cared about blogging back then, so I had much less to worry about. Hardly anyone saw the need to read about my thoughts besides my other 14 year old emotionally charged friends.
However, now that Facebook is the new “LiveJournal,” I have began to ponder this insane phenomenon of feeling the need to broadcast every-single-thought-that-goes-through-your-mind for the internet-land to see. I’m by no means against technology; how ironic would that be. I update my Facebook every so often, I have a blog, I even think my MySpace still exists (although I haven’t checked it in a very long time). But sometimes, I can’t help but think to myself, “Why are we doing this?” Or, “Are we using this as a way to avoid face-to-face relationships?” All of these were legitimate questions I asked while in the process of many geographical transitions. 2-dimensional friendships are easier. There is no risk involved. If I don’t like something, I can exit out of it and walk away.
In a face-to-face relationship, we can’t do that. Even if we say we can, we know better. No one’s heart just cuts and runs. And along with that, there is this large part of me that wonders what friendships will look like as our technology land grows bigger and bigger. Will we know what it means to confront people? Will we know what it looks like to have a conversation about things that matter? Will we be able to express clear, well-thought out conclusions about things happening in the world around us? Or, over time, will we continually be consumed by this obsessive need to let everyone know what we are doing at the precise moment we are doing it (even if it means we are eating a really good sandwich)?
Again I say–I am not against technology! I just worry that we are getting so used to a computer screen/television/texting/etc. that in turn, we forget how to have real relationships with people. We have grown so accustomed to typing our feelings for the world to see that we don’t know how to express them to our closest friends. And this… well, I can’t deny it, it worries me. What will our generation look like in years to come? Will we know how to verbally communicate with people, or will we have our closest relationship with a 2-dimensional screen in front of us?
What do you think?