We are now living in a world where one of our main forms of communication is virtual, and as great as being able to connect to people oceans away is, I do believe it also stunts our ability to express our emotions. I recently wanted to tell one of my friends that she has changed my life for the better, and instead it came out as, ‘ok gross, I don’t know how to say this, but I think everyone enters our lives for a reason, and blahhhh, thank you for entering my life, k cool bye.’ Now anyone who knows me personally will know that I speak ridiculously quickly, and I tend to mumble, but I think I set a new record for how quickly I blurted this out. Why is it that we can express so many emotions through typing out a message, but many of us struggle to tell someone firstly, that we appreciate them, but secondly what exactly it is that we appreciate about them?
I read an article recently that explained that I am a part of the ‘click’ generation; essentially the article explained that everything is just a click away, and that many of us grew up with phones where we click a bunch of keys to communicate with our friends. What this made me think about was how easily I can tell my pals how much I appreciate them through text, but how hard it is to do so with the same sentiment face-to-face; unless I have more than a few bevs behind me. We can type to our heart’s content, however to say it directly to our friend is a completely different ball game. Now, I do realise the irony in me explaining that we are emotionally stunted due to our reliance on technology through an online blog post, BUT I prefer to see this post as a promise. A promise to you, the reader, that I will try my best to communicate with my friends through verbal communication. How great is it to just sit and have a coffee with a friend, and hear how they are, what they’ve been up to and how their life is going? Sure, I saw your Instagram story, but tell me WHY the beach was so #serene that day.
I think that my generation is the most passive aggressive generation there is, and I feel each generation to come will surpass each other unless we begin to discuss the danger of being a ‘keyboard warrior.’ Now this isn’t an attack, but merely an observation. Ask yourself this, ‘how many times have I, instead of talking to someone about an issue that needs resolving, resorted to texting a person to air out my grievances?’ I know for me it is a lot. It seems easier and less abrupt to have the security of a phone in front of me, but what this is doing is stunting my own emotional intelligence. We need to speak to each other openly, learn to accept the feelings of others and understand the emotions of those around us. WE CANNOT DO THIS STARING AT A PHONE. Confrontation is scary, but sometimes necessary. Maybe it is just me, and as I mature I hope that I will begin to be better, but for the moment, I still find it challenging. So firstly, I would like to apologise to anyone that I have cowardly texted to resolve conflict, and secondly an apology to all my wonderful friends whom I have never completely expressed my love to in person.
As I finish I would like to just quickly say that I still very much believe in the art of letter-writing. Yes, this may be a bit contradictory in relation to what I’ve just vented about, however, I do agree that the happiness I feel receiving a letter from a pal is genuinely indescribable. I still have a letter that my dear friend gave me when I was going through my parents’ divorce and it is genuinely one of the most important possessions to me. To be perfectly honest, if I lost the letter, it wouldn’t matter because I remember each word she wrote, and how in that moment, I felt completely content. If she had written me a text I’m sure I would have felt happy but, the fact that 5 years later I still have this one letter from her, shows the deeply personal nature of letter writing as opposed to texting. So perhaps instead of jumping straight into being completely outward with our emotions, we should try to put down our phones and pick up a pen. Then, when we’re ready, we won’t need a phone or a pen, but rather a comfy couch, a coffee and pal to tell about their importance in our lives.
To all my beautiful friends, I love each and every one of you so much and I can never fully express how much you have influenced my life. Thank you.