Monday, July 26, 2010


This is a rant, so if you do not want to waste time reading my mad ramblings, stop now.

When the heck did everyone decide that they couldn't tell people face to face important things? Whatever happened to common decency? Is it so hard to say important things to someone's face? God forbid you can't control the exact message and take comfort in the fact that it will not be reacted to immediately in your face. God forbid you deal with normal, squishy problems. God forbid you have to 'deal' with a negative outcome (this obviously ties in with much more in society but I am concentrating on communication here). If something has been building up for a while, tell it to someone instead of a cryptic text or long, creepy email.

It's not just young people, but it looks horrible for the future with these numbers. Nearly 2/3rds have asked out a first date via text and nearly 1/3rd have been dumped via text. Toughest thing for teens is to ask someone out, but you have to do it and learn. I had some super embarrassing moments as a teen in relation to the opposite sex, but they taught me lessons. Hey, rejection will always happen. Deal with it earlier and grow. After a couple of 'nos', you learn it isn't the end of the world when someone says no. This weekend, I witnessed a young man get teased (by me mostly) into asking a nurse out at a hospital in front of 10 of her peers. It was AWESOME. She said no, but consider how much easier any first date request is going to be after that. That took guts, and in this day and age, simple guts for simple things are on back order.

I get it. Texting and email are easier. Easier, but at what cost? You control the medium & message and create an almost predetermined one way conversation instead of a dialogue. Might as well be two robots interacting. You just deal with things along the path of least resistance and least pain. No one wants to deal with rejection nor look bad in front of others, but in the end, lying on your deathbed, you won't give a shit about that stuff. At different times in your life, life will be painful and full of suffering. We all cannot avoid it forever. If you avoid dealing with pain and neutralizing it, you will end up on your very own episode of "Intervention", random addict every episode: "I started doing crack/meth/heroin to numb the pain of losing my ___". I numbed out for a while and stopped enjoying many things, but figured out what was up. I don't ever want to go back there. Experiencing pain and dealing with it is healthy. It's part of life.
This makes me angry because it is opposite of how I act, so I am biased. Part of the joy of life is asking someone out on a first date, putting yourself out there without a safety net, breaking up with someone and hearing something that changes your mind. Texting and email don't allow for that. As I say to many young folks, 'what is the worst that can happen"? My out was always "I've heard far worse from people I love far more". People will respect you for your actions more if you do them in tough spots. In regards to friends, family or partners, if you cannot tell them something important to their face but through a text or email, then how much of a friend are you and how much do you value the issue you are discussing? There are moments in your life that will hurt immensely & moments that will be joyous. Both types will be forever etched in your mind. You are cheating yourself by using the controlled, robotic and emotionless means of texting and email.


AG said...

This is exactly how I feel and see it. I've been saying for the past few years that people today aren't learning frustration tolerance, a necessary character building component. In fact I was thinking before I read this, based upon some experiences I had over the past year, that any "friend" who can only communicate via email is no friend. Now, that doesn't mean I don't see them as a superficial friend and can't enjoy them online. But anyone else who wants to reduce me to a robot by addressing me like one is gone from my life.

AG said...

By the way, Albert Ellis, the founder of REBT and my hero and theory I studied most in grad school devised "Shame attacking exercises." Basically to get over what people think by doing something in public that is embarrassing to you. Also, he was shy around girls so he made himself ask a bunch out at a park bench daily for a while. Good stuff.

Son of Brock Landers said...

This is not off topic but it might take a while. i've often thought that the end game of all this technological progress is uploading human consciousness into machinery for eternal life. i would end a convo by rejecting that idea as i dont think people could desire that end. after seeing how technology is eliminating pain, and the parameters cpu programs could write that would eliminate variables, i am beginning to see that this is the endgame and the desired outcome. people do not want variables, pain and uncertainty anymore. superficially contact as many people as one desires with superficial stimulus and make no lasting connections that can expose oneself to 'trouble'.

Rod Serling would have a field day with this idea.