Let me come right out of the chutes and say this: I realize how ironic this post is going to sound on a public blog that's all about sharing things with the world.
But, I've got to say it anyway. This thought has been rolling around in my brain, and, very ironically, I want to throw it out there.
The thought, or, as is usually the case with me, the question: Does anyone do things quietly anymore? Are there things about people, ranging from everyday ho-hum to major life-changers, that come as complete, delightful surprises in long-awaited conversations anymore?
By sharing every detail of our lives via Twitter, text, Facebook, and blog, have we made both everything big and nothing big?
I'm brushing my hair!! Saw a movie today!! I said yes!! Stubbed my toe!! Ouch!! Baby on the way!! Moving to a different country!! Look at my new shoes!! Oatmeal!!
We write and write and write -- sometimes philosophically, sometimes not -- but does that make everything we have to say important? Maybe important is the wrong word. I don't ever want to devalue words, language, or the thoughts and feelings of another. Perhaps I mean newsworthy. Or, even more accurately, worthy of an exclamation point.
Are we to become as excited over someone's new shoes as we are over the new life currently growing in her belly? They both get two exclamation points.
Furthermore, whatever happened to delayed gratification? We are all so instantly gratified nowadays. I mean, honestly, I become anxious if I must wait more than a couple hours for a response to my exciting status on Facebook. It's lame, but I'm just being honest here.
Speaking of honesty, I don't honestly know the answers to these questions. I have inklings of opinions, but they make me lump myself right in with what I'm potentially looking down upon.
There is part of me that ABSOLUTELY LOVES sharing and hearing about all those wonderful details in life. We all want to be known. And, in some ways, all this communication has made us more known to each other than ever before.
Another part of me ABSOLUTELY LOVES talking with someone face-to-face and catching up on all the latest in one big, long-winded, rush of this and that, and isn't that exciting? There's just been many a time when someone has told me something, or I've told someone else something, and the response is, "Yeah, I saw that on Facebook." End of story. Old news. No follow-up questions.
No follow-up questions. Perhaps that is what this whole post comes down to. Maybe I am not annoyed with the exuberant amount of sharing going on these days, cause I really do enjoy it, but with the lack of counter-sharing, the lack of old-fashioned, back-and-forth conversation.
I think that's it. (Took me awhile to get around to that realization. Sheesh. That's what I get for thinking out loud on my blog.) I like sharing my life and hearing about others' lives. I'm a journalist; that is what I do. What I don't like is when the sharing becomes the point. When it's just me, me, me on the surface without entering into the give-and-take of relationship.
If your shoes are big news...let me ask why. Let us go deeper. If you're having a baby, can we share best and worst baby stories to make you laugh and encourage you? If I'm moving or taking a new job, can I announce it and expect: When? Where? How? Why?
I hope so. Let's bring back conversation!!