The digital age of technology has handicapped millennials in the sense that we rely heavily on smartphone technology solely for communication. We are checking our phones for the sake of checking our phones. (FYI, it can wait.) If we’re bored we might text someone because of ease and accessibility. We break up with people over text messages because it’s easier than having to face it in person.
It’s easier than fronting the reality of the situation. We send photos without actually saying anything. We don’t even have to think. You can just snap a selfie and send, hoping to get some sort of response. We aren’t even necessarily using words to say what we want. The more we rely on technology to do the communicating for us, the more we cripple ourselves to communicate organically and naturally. We can hide behind whichever persona we choose to create on social media. We can control the perception people have of us to some extent.
Firstly, we need to cool our obsession with online dating. Sure the concept of online dating is pretty cool and it even works for some people. Here’s the problem though, your first encounter is not a real interaction. It’s forced. For whatever reason, you wanted to find someone, so you did. I found online dating creepily strange. It can totally be a temporary ego booster when guys reach out and give you some attention, but it is artificial. This is based on a carefully picked photo you decided you wanted to represent you. The whole process is completely orchestrated by you and nothing is left to fate. Perhaps I’m a hopeless romantic, but I have chosen to believe people are still able to make connections the old fashion way; genuine and unplanned interactions.
Next, let’s agree to cool it with the cyber-stalking. Social media has allowed us to feel like we may know a person more than we actually do. We are able to stalk back however far we choose or attach ourselves to current regular postings of a person. We see them constantly through our phone our computer and really feel like we are constantly with them. It’s weird. The advances in technology and the resolution of photos and videos can allow us to really feel close to another person. We do it with “famous” people all of the time. However, it doesn’t mean you know the person. You are taking nothing more than a visual peek into the person’s life.
And finally, we should end having phones at dinner. This happens way too often. You go out to a restaurant and you see a bunch of people sitting on their phones that just so happen to be sitting at the same tables. I forcefully grab my friends phones whenever we go out to dinner and secure them out of their reach. Sure they want to kill me at first, but talking is important. Actually talking. I love social media and I love the way it allows me to stay in touch with people that live far away but it doesn’t mean we should forget what came first, real conversation.