Day 21: Failing to Make a Real Connection

Please welcome my dear friend and guest blogger, Niki Homes!

In this busy and over-connected world, I find it hard to keep up with technology. I have an Instagram account, which I use an average of once every six weeks. I don’t tweet, nor have I even attempted to set up an account. Snapchat? Ah. No. I think I missed the age-cut-off-requirement on that one. I bet any of my high school students can rattle off a number of other ways that I do not even know about to socially network.

I do have Facebook. I both email and text. I also use Messenger. I frequently have to ask my students or younger friends about Emojis. Confession: sometimes the picture is just too small for me to identify. Only yesterday, I was introduced to Bitmojis, which are fun, but which I secretly think are mostly senseless. Perhaps I should allow myself to fail at mastering the technologies du jour.

We must agree there are many ways to communicate with people; but why then do I always feel like I am failing to make a connection? In this busy and over-connected world, paradoxically I find it most hard to keep up with the people I care about most.

First, I read page upon page of the sound bites of the world around me, yet know very little of what is actually going on in the inner hearts of valued friends. I find that more is just more, but definitely not more informative nor more rewarding and certainly not more real. I spend countless minutes on social media, yet find I am less and less likely to have a sustained conversation with anyone outside of my household. Somehow the “social” has been supplanted by the “media.”

Second, I have difficulty finding time to gather my thoughts. Today’s instant-style of communication suggests more is equivalent to better. I “like” many a post to let my friends know I have read what for the moment was important to them. I write pithy comments to suggest a more personalized connection. But rarely do I pause long enough to share something significant about myself. It takes time and concentration to organize one’s thoughts and write something worthy of reading.

So do I fail at communicating? Or am I just an infidel of the religion of technology?

*Post Script: As a guest blogger, I should say congratulations to those who write thoughtfully on a regular basis. I wrote this on an offhanded dare from Linda and it took me quite a long time.*

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