If you read my last post, you know that I was given the opportunity to write for the Marion Times-Standard. Well, they asked me to write an editorial for the paper every week! The editor told me that he could not guarantee that my editorials would run in every edition–and it’s unpaid as of right now–but it’s a start! Also, I get to write about whatever I want, so that’s awesome as well. I sent in a picture and get this: The title of my column is the same as my blog. Isn’t that cool?
This post may sound familiar toward the end. It’s actually part of an older post combined with some fresh perspective. This is my first submission for the paper as a regular contributor. Please leave your comments below and suggest some things you would like to read about in the editorials.
Building relationships is hard work. I am starting to understand why people find it easier to park their cars in the garage and never speak to their neighbors. For one thing, there are a lot of awkward pauses and silences when you first get to know someone. It’s like a bad job interview that never really ends.
Once you get past the general questions—Married? Single? Have kids? If so, how many?—all that is left to do is stare at each other and scope out appearances. Well, he or she is clean and has good style, so they must be decent human beings…right?
I realize this example seems a bit extreme, but I know that I am speaking the truth. However, I am still hopeful that all is not lost. Not everyone lives in Mayberry, but developing meaningful relationships is possible whether you live in Marion or New York City.
The truth is that most people do not listen. It’s time to put down cell phones, to close laptops, to turn off televisions. Why not look someone in the eyes when carrying on a conversation? Then that person might, just might, be convinced that you are actually listening to them.
Technology is awesome, but I’m afraid that it is also ruining relationships. It’s so, so easy to be a lazy communicator when texting can get the job done just the same. When you opt out of social events to play video games or surf the web. When you like someone’s status on Facebook, but never talk to them in person.
Does anyone else see a problem?
Sometimes it’s good to be unplugged. It causes you to pay attention, to really listen. Don’t get me wrong. I love technology just as much as the next person, but technology CANNOT replace common courtesy, conversation, and personal relationships.