Thoughts on today’s worldMichelle Jeffreys
I remember when I played outside until it was dark, when I walked to my friends house without any worries, when I ran around a department store and hid inside the clothing racks. I remember the ice cream truck coming through the neighborhood and all the kids running down the street from who knows where to greet him. I remember having to dial up my internet and watch the dots as we waited to connect. I remember calling people on the phone and having endless conversations with them, sleepovers for days with friends, face to face interactions and learning how to live life. Yes, that is what I was doing, I was learning how to navigate life.
Falling down and getting up, scraping my knee and walking it off, not getting along with a friend and learning how to problem solve the situation which may have taken days to resolve. Having face to face interactions, confrontations and dialog that allowed you to see the reaction given from the other person so you could adjust your next response appropriately.
My opinion on today’s world is that we have lost the art of conversation, the empathy that is required to read human beings and understand where they are coming from and that it’s ok if their view is different or if they have a different way of doing something. We cannot come together and make big world decisions when all we do is hide behind our machines to do this. I am part of the problem. My social media accounts are used daily, I am never without my phone or computer and I choose to text more often than call people. One thing I noticed is that people in my generation were given the empathetic backbone to handle the technology world, we are right at the beginning of it all taking place and spiraling out of control, we had just enough life training to get us to this point. Look back a generation or two and you’ll find that most of those people barely know how to use social media and all of the newest technology. They still write letters, send cards and call you on the phone.
Take a step forward to our teenagers some of whom have had a cell phone since they were able to use one. They only know this social media world, they look for constant recognition, socialization and instant gratification while never leaving their bedroom. They stand next to each other at school or at the mall and text on their phones and take selfies. What would happen if we took those phones away? Would they actually look at each other and have a meaningful thought out conversation? Again, I am the problem here; I gave both my teenagers phones and allowed them to do the very thing I sit here and complain about. If I had not given them phones, they would not fit in to society, they wouldn’t get along in the current dynamic that is now.
With all of the recent shootings across the nation this always brings it back to the forefront for me. Most days, I keep it just underneath the surface and some days I can even put it in the back log; but these days recently have been hard. Do I have the answer? No, I wish I did. Do I have a solution? No, not even close.