Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's So Funny... How We Don't Talk Anymore

Has anybody else noticed this? We don't socialize as much as we used to 20 years ago. And I'm not talking about "us" as adoptive families who have nobody who wants to invite us over because we have too many kids -- I'm talking about "us" as a society.

Twenty years ago I was single but I had a lot of married friends. And we hung out together a LOT. Almost every weekend night of the year I was either at someone's house or they were at mine. We played games. We played cards. We talked. We shared life with each other -- we were closely following each others lives -- the ups and the downs -- and we felt each other's pain and shared each other's joy. Now I just like someone's facebook status.

What has happened to people genuinely meeting face to face to share life? To "break bread" together? To connect in meaningful ways? We are all so busy, wrapped up in our own journeys, that we don't take time to get involved in others.

But the richness of life is in the stories of other people! The depth, the marrow so to speak, of life itself is in the digesting of the narratives of the people around us. They make us richer, they make us stronger, they make us healthier. Knowing your story makes mine make more sense.

Yes, we have blogs. Yes, we have Facebook. We have instant messaging and email and twitter and a host of other avenues in which we can click our way through other people's lives. But it just isn't the same thing is it?

I have had a theory about my social life since I was a teenager. I believe that the ball is always in my court. I don't wait around for someone to invite me to do something - I do the inviting. But lately I haven't made time to do that as much and I need to.

Sure, I"ll keep commenting on blogs. And I'll keep updating my status on Facebook if I have time. But I want the depth of the real thing.

Have you experienced the same changes in your life? Isn't it up to our generation to demonstrate to our kids that it is more fun to be together in reality than it is virtually? Or have we given up on them getting it?

I challenge you to get together IN PERSON with someone in the next 2 weeks and ask some questions and get to know more of their story. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.


GB's Mom said...

You're on!

Treasured Grace said...

I've had similar thoughts lately. And in dealing with some on our teen girl issues here. My oldest foster daughter, (fasd) has made the difficult choice to not have face book. For at least 3 months. Her friends there are made up of a hodge podge of people she "thinks" are her friends. Most are bottom feeders and don't really care about her.
So in supporting her and in trying to find the balance in my own life. I have decided to join her. I will miss some aspects of the re-connection with old friends. And the ease of being able to stay connected. But I feel like I'm not REALLY connected anyway.
So I will model for her what a real friendship looks like, I will encourage her when she feels like that was a mistake. And I will not allow the bottom feeders to take advantage of her anymore!
Thanks for sharing today:)

Vay said...

I know exactly what you mean - which is why I try and invite folks over as much as I can. It's funny how folks seem to hibernate in their homes and not have people over much. I don't think I could live that way. I remember playing games at your apartment in B'ville on occasion. Fun times. My longest lasting friendships are the ones where we have had those moments together and I hope to continue to have those moments for as long as I am alive.

Lee said...

I see this too. I am a chatty person and it took real persistance on my part last yr to make friends of the moms at my son's dance class. This would normally be easy but they were all texting on their phones or reading email etc. Eventually my persistance paid off and I made 2 great friends that we still hang out with.

Kathleen said...

When we moved back to St. Louis after an absence of a number of years, we were looking forward to spending more time with old friends again. Unfortunately, most of them are at different life stages (i.e., being soccer moms/dads) and had other commitments and didn't have a lot of free time. It was disappointing, but... we found several groups via (whose goal is to use the internet to GET OFF the internet and meet up with people in person) that enjoyed similar activities. We have made quite a few new friends, and have activities at our fingertips whenever we are available ourselves. Right now, we've got as much face time with others as we can handle.

woolywoman said...

While I believe that the ball is always in our own courts, I also think society has changed. People used to go out more as a normal part of life. I have asked people to come over and play cards and had them say "oh, I don't play cards. How funny, my mom and dad did" I I have also had people ( more than one) say oh, I don't go out after work" or, I can't leave my kids at night.

Yes, I he checked that my deodorant is working! And many people have been happy to come over. But it is certainly not common to visit and have folks over as much as it was. It seems like people are more stressed, more tired, work longer hours, and feel bad that their kids are cared for by other people. People are also less willing to have people over because they worry that their house is not nice enough, and because the strict rule about "owing"someone an invitation seems to have gone by the wayside.

But all that said, if you like having people over, you should invite people over! It can be a lot of fun!