As one who spends some of his time typing words into the internet space, I’m going to state an unpopular opinion: We’re spending too much time here.
Why do I say that? Just today I need to clear up an issue with a great friend … and can’t via text. As I write this very minute, the problem at hand is unresolved. It’s not a matter of life or death, rather, a personal uncomfortableness – an unease – I can’t resolve without personal connectivity … a phone call or something other than 1’s and 0’s over the w-w-web.
Secondarily, I expressed an opinion on Facebook two days ago. That should be an “enough said” sentence, but after 100 comments and counting, I must continue.
It concerned the vacancy left by RBG’s death and the political fallout since – specifically, ACB’s nomination to the aforementioned seat. You’d think I typed in the worst offensive words possible about everyone’s mothers based upon the comments dripping underneath my eloquently phrased opinion. Again, no real conversation – just texts back and forth with veiled insults and an occasional “fact” in quotes, questioning sources, attaching descriptive connectors to humans in public office, and scripting personal narratives to public internet spaces.
Beings being 2-dimensional. I’m not enjoying any of it right now. Resolutions are really difficult at the end of two solitary thumbs when one has to wait moments – possibly hours – for a response (with no guarantee of one even coming).
Where are we now? Trying to interpret 26 letters and a bunch of emojis now is like looking through a dimly lit lantern’s glow at a wall of hieroglyphics … symbols we can’t really get a handle on. It’s a cave of our own doing. That’s where we find ourselves. A simple 👋 now can’t mean “hi”, anymore, without questioning the motive … is it sarcastic? Does it require a 👋 in return? I don’t know anymore without, at a minimum, looking the waver in the eye. At best, seeing them in person.
Look, I know the technology wave carried us into this cave. It was unavoidable, I guess. So many good things have happened because blips and beeps carry information across thousands of miles in nanoseconds. Lives are saved everyday with medical advances. Kids are learning more – by fifth grade – than I knew when I slid across the stage picking up my diploma. Access to information is … un-freakin-google-believable.
Still, all that can’t replace a person on the other end of a breathable space. Someone to help resolve a rather minor issue we need when that problem pokes itself out from the normalness that is life. A normal we really can’t be, by the way, spending almost all our time face down in a text. This isn’t the way life was intended to be.
You and me. Eye to eye is the absolute best. If not, at least voice to voice. For personal relationships and problem resolutions, it’s a deaf echo chamber cave of emojis and letters. As a way of communicating a momentary frustration in a blog on a cold, rainy Friday in October? Absolutely!
As to problem #1, I’m sure this little hiccup in my life will begin to work itself out once the iron of time plugs in and begins to iron out the wrinkles. The 3-D books I’ve read and really smart people in my life I’ve listened to guarantee it.
The now is now, however, and for what it’s worth, I do feel a bit better venting – even if it’s just letters and emojis.
Concern #2: The whole Facebook thing will do what it does and life moves forward for everyone involved. That space made Mark Z. a bazillionaire – which is more money than I’ll ever see. His money and notoriety slip him in a envelope and send him off to destinations unknown to me.
And so it goes. My opinion remains the same. We spend too much time. Here. Call me sometime and we’ll talk it over. I’d love to hear your opinion.