Live Like It’s the 90s

Ever notice how difficult it is to commit to say, anything?

Remember when you made plans with friends to meet up at the movies? Well back in the dark ages, there was no way really communicate with your friends, your parents just simply dropped you off at the theater and you all magically showed up. What a concept?! I’m sure this practice seems archaic to younger folks, but back then, when plans were made, you kept them, because there was no way to back out.

The one thing I love about technology is that we can instantly get in contact with one another. It also allows us to be flaky little sons of guns as well. Since we can easily talk to each other and make plans, it ultimately gives us the option to say no right up to the event itself. Why is it that we don’t follow through with plans then turn around and complain about not having reliable friends? It’s like a never-ending conundrum.  Let’s be honest, how many times have you made plans to only bail on them at the last minute? I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit. Interestingly enough, I was talking about this with a girl I met at the dog park today and she admitted to being in the same boat as me. So in an effort to live more organically, I’ve decided to opt into a more 90s kind of life.

When I make plans with friends, I’ve decided that unless I’m having a dire medical emergency, I’m following through. I’m going to pretend as though my phone does not exist and that texting has not yet been invented. Why? Simply because if I “don’t have the means to communicate” I have to assume that the other person is waiting for me therefore making me obligated to show up. I’ve actually done it a couple times, and dare I say, I’ve enjoyed my outings. So here’s to a little personal responsibility and enjoying each other’s company “IRL” 😉

Have you ever bailed on a friend for whatever reason? Let me know 🙂

flaking-out

Why Interpersonal Communication is Dead

Today, I was going to write about my fondness for admiring older men (another story for another time), but I find myself baffled by the complexities of topics such as harassment and the like. I wasn’t going to talk about such subjects because as a woman, it appears that I may have differing opinions on the matter as opposed to the masses. However, after watching some troubling YouTube videos and reading about scary moments when a member of the opposite sex tried to strike up a conversation; I have become to believe one thing. Interpersonal communication is dying among Millennials.

What is Interpersonal Communication?

 Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication.

 

Obviously I don’t mean that everyone under that category cannot speak to one another, but as we all become so engrossed with our precious technologies, we seem to have forgotten how to talk to our fellow man. When was the last time you talked to someone you didn’t know who was within 10 feet of you? Furthermore, if someone approached you offering casual conversation, would you accept and engage? I’m not talking about the cat calling weirdness that sometimes happens, but if a person poses a legitimate topic, would you write them off?

I ask this because all too often, I’m seeing/hearing people complain about harassment when the question was harmless. Since we seldom interact with each other in a spontaneous fashion, it seems as though our ability to do so has diminished severely. What I mean by this is that, communication/interaction is like a muscle, if you don’t exercise it from time to time, it will become underdeveloped and essentially useless. I grew up in a small  town in Southern California, where if you were in a long line, it would be completely normal to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you. Nowadays doing that same action results in the recipient either thinking you’re weird or are trying to hit on them. Even more so, that one encounter becomes the cornerstone argument that harassment is a real and rampant thing that is oppressing the female gender. One Youtuber even went as far as saying that a woman’s #1 fear is rape. Uh, my biggest fear is snakes…so… yeah. I’m not saying harassment does not exist, it does. Has it happened to me? You bet. However, I do not live my life in fear because of a few instances. What’s even more frustrating is that hashtag movements have become a soap box for individuals to talk about the one time they got hit on at the bar by someone who was either incredibly nervous or could have been a jackass.

Let’s be honest, going up to a stranger and starting a conversation is hard, for everyone. It requires one to muster up the courage to speak with you in the first place, which seems like a miracle since we’re so distant from each other anyway. We’re already so closed off from the idea of talking to others without it coming from a cellphone, it’s not even funny. So my next question is, if talking to someone in a line, at a bookstore, or in a bar is so taboo or considered harassment, how are we supposed to connect with one another? Personally, even as an introvert, if anyone offers something interesting to say, I gladly welcome the interaction. Why? Because I appreciate the effort of a person wanting to interact and be human for a minute. What’s not human is being glued to a device as your only means of connecting with the outside world. Also, I find it entertaining as some of the very same people who are for this “movement” are the very same folks who complain about having trouble making friends or meeting potential partners. Well those types of interactions require you to speak to one another. It’s not rocket science.

To be clear, I am not downplaying anyone’s plights or dealings with harassment of any kind. I believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable and safe. My problem is with the growing few who interpret a book recommendation as a scary experience thus deeming someone creepy. Guess what, not everyone is trying to sleep with you. Sometimes it’s nice to speak to someone new using your voice and not your thumbs. Let’s turn off our phones and get to know each other in the old fashioned way. So, with that being said, I’m off to go to a new coffee shop and speak to a stranger. I encourage you to do the same. 🙂

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