Imagine this: It’s a sunny day and you’re walking down the street. You haven’t even noticed the sun, because you’re so into a text message. All of a sudden you bump into another person. Slightly annoyed you look up, because you expected that everyone would move out of your way. You’re doing something very important and very serious, after all. When you look up, you look straight into another ‘slightly annoyed face that was doing some important and serious stuff too’. Then you notice the other person was composing a Tweet.
Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if the sunshine on your face would put you in such a good mood that you’d say ‘hello’ to each person passing you by?
When you live far apart or you’re looking for something new, the internet can be fun. But lately more and more friends – luckily not all of them – seem to think it’s ok to give you a virtual hug… when they live five minutes away. That just isn’t fulfilling to me. Going on a social media strike won’t work either. They will just find new friends who also live on the internet and forget all about you. ‘What’ are we becoming? A society in which you can create your own virtual friend who acts exactly the way you want it too? Yeah, I had one of those when I was eight. It’s called a Tamagotchi.
Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if someone would just look you in the eye and say: “It’s great to be in your presence.”
And what about ‘checking in’ at Facebook? It’s fun when you’re somewhere kewl like a tropical island. Updating your status is nice when you actually achieved something great – whatever it may be – and you want to share that feeling of victory with the rest of the world. But lately people took the magic out of it. By posting they’re at home or at the local café or some other place they’re not even that excited about. No one really cares that you’re grocery shopping. The people who just ‘liked’ your status probably just did it so you’d ‘like’ theirs too.
Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if people posted things they were really excited about and that could be inspiring to other people? Or better yet, ‘check in’ to invite you to join them.
I’m not judging. I do it too. I have to. Society forces me to participate. It’s either that or be a weirdo. Well, I think being a weirdo is much more fun to be honest. Have you ever been to a birthday party where everyone was staring at their phones the entire evening? Wouldn’t it be so much more fun to pay attention to the person next to you and realize you have a lot more in common than an iPhone? And I’m not even going to start talking about people who text while driving… That’s just plain stupid.
I’m not writing this post to rant – well, maybe a little – I just want to get through to you. This blog is about happy thoughts, so here’s a wonderful one for you: Take a moment to look around you today. Really SEE people. What do they need? How can you help them brighten up their day? It can be as simple as one single sentence. But the effect can be enormous. Not just for one person. We’re all connected you know.
A few years ago a former classmate came up to me, desperately pulled my jacked and begged me to talk to him. I knew he was a drug user, so out of fear I said no and kept on walking. That was the last time I saw him. A few days later he committed suicide. I know I couldn’t have done anything to stop him, but at least I could have listened. Please don’t learn this lesson the hard way like I did. This generation is becoming so impersonal. It’s great that we can text each other all the time, but when someone answers ‘I’m ok’, you can’t see if that’s what they feel in their heart. Get off the internet and ask your friend in person how he or she is doing. Your friend might throw in a false ‘I’m ok’, but eyes can’t lie. Virtual words can.
As always, I’ll leave you with an inspiring video about this matter (not for kids!):
I dedicate this post to someone I used to know. Hopefully in a next lifetime I’ll have the right to call you a friend.