As of late, I’ve been doing my best to reach out to long-time friends and loved ones. With the advent of social media, many of us, myself included, have overlooked the importance and joy of hearing a friend’s voice over the telephone or opening a handwritten note or card from someone you once shared frequent exchanges with. Just imagine if one of your hundreds of friends on Facebook ever got a call from you. Don’t worry. You’ll be struck by lightning while accepting your lottery win before that ever happens.
No matter how much time has passed, there will always be a place in our hearts for friends, family and loved ones — sharing memories and getting updates on their current or recent doings. In contrast, exploring a new way to see one another. Although, those first words, “Hey …, this is …” might take a little courage. There is almost always a reward on the other end of the line.
Everybody has a story to tell. Rich or poor. Young or old. Black or White. We all come from diverse backgrounds and have lived different lives. Yes, we’re all related to this earth and one another to a certain degree and share a common bond, but in so many other ways, we are unique. As I get older, I’ve tried to become less of a talker and more of a listener. Though it’s taken a lifetime, I’ve come to understand and embrace that the only time we learn is when we listen. So, after years of talking, I look forward to the hopes I can become a better listener.
As my social anxiety manifests itself. I am becoming increasingly overwhelmed and flat out bothered by how attached people are to their phones, mobile devices and social media. How many times I’ve watched as family and friends go out together and communicate solely through their phones and apps. Watching a man staring in to his phone as he sits with a beautiful woman. Unable to take a moment to realize what he’s missing out on. It would seem that the more connected we are to technology and social media. The more detached we become from one another. Sure, it’s great to have 839 friends on Facebook, but would you even recognize them if you saw them on the streets or at your local hangout. Even worse, would you ever want to see any of them in real life?
My wife lightheartedly refers to them as “The Walking Dead.” This morning, however, took the cake. As I walked in to the public restroom. The guy ahead of me was texting with one hand while holding his Johnson with the other. Imagine being so obsessed with your digital device that you can’t enjoy a private moment with your own manhood. The truth is there is a growing part of the population who spend the majority of their time with their faces firmly planted on the screens of their phones. Am I alone in thinking we’ve lost our focus on what’s real? Will people one day regret not being able to get back the time lost with friends, family and real life encounters? Well, there’s probably an app. for that.