Friday, March 6, 2015

On the Tide of (Fleeting) Friendships (1/2)

I remember a time, a time when friendships were in-person, a time when friends met in-person instead of over the phone or through the internet or a text. I remember actually hearing people’s voices, seeing their body language and picking up on all the nuances from knowing and seeing someone in the flesh.

Friendships like this are sadly becoming abnormal, so it seems.

In our world of busy-is-good, where we are always seeking to reach out with and through the newest kind of technology, I fear while we may gain, we are losing something terrible at the same time, human connection. I am trained in a profession where I learn how to listen, how to hear, how to be; yet I see increasingly that the world is moving at a faster pace. Stillness is not a virtue. What we don't realize is when we give up being able to sit still and talk, we give up the ability to listen, we give up depth, we give up being vulnerable, we give up friendships, and we give up community. We become millions of individuals all connected through technology but most of us only related on the shallowest level of friendship possible.

When we cannot sit still, all the friends we make seem deep at first until we move onto the next thing. The problem is, there is always a next thing and we develop the seeming inability to make a new friend, reconnect with the friend we made last week, or friend we have't spoken to in years. We have already run miles from that context and are so wrapped up in our own world we forget and are often blind to those we have left behind... and for those of us who realize this is going on, we may feel it is us who have been left behind.

It seems like with this fast-paced world, you can meet a friend in a certain context; at school, church, or work - but when you try to initiate contact outside of that mutual context, things tend to get awkward. It's initiating us out of our comfort zone. We have unknowingly labeled that person, regulated them to a specific part of our life and out of that comfortable context we seemingly have no idea what to do with that friendship. 

In our world where everything has to be labeled, we have lost the art of good conversation, good communication, and knowing that it is acceptable and even good perhaps to make ourselves go through situations or friendships that are undefined, unclear, awkward, vulnerable, even daring.

~ Single Me

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