The other day I ranted a bit on how we have become social media addicts. This whole technology platform has replaced so many physical contacts. It is slowly killing the need of people meeting as often as needed (if it already hasn’t) , people having a great time together and neither being on their phones while at it. Hell! it has reduced the amount of human touch we have with each other. Like hugs and cuddles. You might think huh! who wants to hug and cuddle? I tell you, we need that a lot than we know.
We literally take our godforsaken phones just about anywhere. Someone will spend even an entire hour in the toilet just scrolling on their phone making them probably the number one unsanitary items we own. Ask this person what they learnt and they wouldn’t even tell you what wisdom or knowledge they added to their brain. Well, they might let you know that Kim Kardashian has a new make up line. A line they might never buy a product from. What is this that we are all so curious about, that the first thing in the morning to do is be on our phones?
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the good things that is social media and I’m guilty of everything I’m writing here. I love how fast I can inform myself just about anything and whatever is happening in my world and the world at large by just typing on my phone. I love me a good phone that can take awesome pictures. I love the vanity in the selfie world. But man, we have become so lazy. People have huge and quite expensive phones, but they will just text you to inquire about something that is just a google second away. Isn’t that annoying?
We used to have friends that we met quit often but Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram etc replaced our meetings. Who calls who nowadays? I think most people even prefer texting over calls. I stand to be corrected, but haven’t you also kind of caved into that set up?
These mediums we have chosen for ourselves can be very deceitful. Some of your “friends“ will assume the best of you and how you are always on a hundred because they see a picture you posted accompanied by an attractive caption. And it won’t matter how often you post. They will never even check on you. Not even on the comment section. Would be a surprise when they click the like button.
Also, how best have we mastered how we put our points across through messages? How many messages or memes do you receive that you don’t even find funny at all and all you do is type a “haha” or “lol” and click send and you didn’t actually laugh? How best can you express yourself in a text message and convey the same exact meaning you want to pass across as compared to meeting and having these conversations in person? How much do you curate your text messages by adding smileys or emojis to seem either less serious or extremely serious? And how many people take your text messages seriously?
Check you contact list. Do you need all those numerous contacts saved on your phone? What for? Aren’t most of them “just incase incase happens ?” How many people on your contact list have you called in the last week just to check on them? How many on the same list have called you in the last week to check on you? How many of your so called friends have you had a one on one in the last one month? How many of those have you initiated?
And then some amazing brains came together and introduced WhatsApp groups. How many of those do you find yourself in and how active and deliberate are you in there? Aren’t these the most convenient and efficient when it comes to plan those showers, events and weddings. Actually in all honesty, I don’t find them very efficient. I think most relationships have suffered and even been ruined in those groups. Why? Miscommunication, misunderstanding, delivery of points, activity, discrimination eg who do we take seriously and who not, formation of subgroups within the group name it.
Reminds me, I had a close friend who got pregnant. We had been friends for some years. We used to talk on the phone now and then but didn’t manage to meet for such a long time due to unavoidable circumstances. Thing is, she never told me she was pregnant. One day I was at a gathering where I got to hear about it through mutual friends. I heard she was 6 months pregnant. I was a bit shocked and a little disturbed but I figured oh, maybe she has her reasons not to tell me and I didn’t ever ask. I didn’t feel entitled for her to tell me, but I couldn’t help but wonder why she never mentioned it to me on the occasions we talked on the phone and weird enough, in some of those occasions she was having me do something for her.
One day I just found myself in a baby shower group of the said friend. Created by herself. If you don’t know, normally these showers are held when a mom to be is about to have the baby. Usually on the 8th or even the 9th month. So you can imagine how taken aback I was. Well, we have been friends for so long, and this is a pregnancy you have carried for so long, we do talk on phone on occasion, I have to mean something to you for you to invite me to the shower but how daring are you to belittle me like that?
Long story short, I never went to that shower and I will save you all the bullshit that was born on that day.
It is easy to be consumed by our phones, to live in the comfort zone of doing the usual and getting lost in the routine. But if really want, we can try to break that. And not to mention that I believe we do learn even more through physical interactions. There is an indescribable joy of meeting people and exchanging experiences, hugging, laughing, crying, eating or drinking together that hiding behind a gadget can’t fulfill. We boost our growth through healthy interactions and that’s also partly how we know or learn to voice what works for us or not better that through a text message.
I guess my point is, I feel that we should really take meeting those we love so dearly seriously. Those who we have chosen to love, cherish and care about deserve our time and presence. Start with that friend who you miss a lot and haven’t met in a long time. Meet that cousin you always avoid to meet, they might need you. Pay your folks and grandparents a visit. Get lost in their stories and don’t deny yourself that hearty laugh and those hugs. Attend that family gathering and put off your phone for even an hour. If you tell someone they are important to you then you make the time to see them and if you for whatever reason you can’t meet them, use that phone you worship so much and call them.
Most times we don’t even realize that we needed something until we experience it. I won’t even remind you that even if you age to be a hundred,
life is really too short.