I truly despise humble brags, but I can’t help but announce that I hate how popular I am.
Don’t be mislead; I’m talking technology today. But I have to preface it with a little context first.
I’ve never considered myself popular in the totally rad cat way. Just my use of the phrase “totally rad cat” should make me exempt from any descriptor that has anything to do with the word popular. But over our winter break, I realized that I’m not only popular, but I’m in super high demand.
I had one major goal I wanted to achieve if the world continued to exist: embrace a couple of week’s worth of solitude.
And I assumed solitude would be a difficult achievement. I, like so many others, have that horrible addiction to social networking. I would rate social networking one 18th Amendment if I didn’t think it would probably lead to a rise in Facebook speakeasies run by organized crime.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I actually turned the computer off.
I actually found it quite easy coming down off the World Wide Web high. The withdrawals were few, and I only vomited and hallucinated for a couple of hours at most.
All I needed were a few good books, a pair of running shoes, and some art supplies to keep myself occupied. Going off the social grid was a huge relief for me. I didn’t share my drama, and I didn’t have to pay attention to anyone else’s.
But my attempts at solitude were futile. I didn’t fail of my own accord. I failed because we are so reliant upon text messaging, emails, Facebook updates and Twitter feeds to communicate with each other that some people seemed to think there are no other ways to do so.
Is the art of conversation dead? That’s not a rhetorical question. The answer is yes.
I found out over the break how much my friends, family and coworkers needed me because my phone never ceased to stop buzzing with text messages. By the way, at least half of those text messages were demands for me to read my email or check my Facebook messages.
Those who communicate through Twitter and expect a legitimate response are get a review of eight out of 10 days in the nearest aviary.
I’m only 31 years old, and I already long for a simpler time. The immediacy of everything makes our lives stressful to a breaking point. Now it’s true that some of you thrive on getting texts and tweets—and more power to you.
I personally can’t stand text messages, and I cringe every time my phone vibrates. I was really looking forward to a text-free Christmas break because I knew once the semester started, I’d be back on duty as the editor-in-chief of this fine publication.
And with that duty comes texting. And believe me, it’s a lot.
Some call this a cliched point, but we really must reevaluate our communication skills. We’re leaving little to no time in which to immerse ourselves with the things that make us human.
Let’s not let our Facebook profiles define our personalities. We can’t allow our Twitter feed to express our feelings for us. We must not leave it to Pinterest to share our favorite cookie recipes. No, we must put the “personal” in personality, we should strike up our conversations with friends vocally, and if we’re so inclined to share a recipe, then we should whip up a batch of those cookies and share them with all our friends.
Let’s just be human again.