In an age where we find ourselves communicating with our loved ones with both ease and convenience, Ashton Kutcher (yes, of Punked and Twitter fame) raises the question: “Are we becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?” In some cases, absolutely.
Remember the time in High School when you would have to fight your parents to just GET a cell phone for your birthday or a holiday? The time where passing notes in the hallway and emailing was the easiest way to reach out to your friends, boyfriends and girlfriends? Even then, it seemed a bit more personal to hand-write something rather than easily showcasing the best of yourself through a spell-checker or erase what you really wanted to say (maybe not in the most eloquent way) to make YOU look like your “best possible version” of yourself. We have found ourselves in a time where these millennials (myself included) have been trained to communicate in the easiest and most impersonal fashion. Is it easier to tell somebody they care face to face or by text? Or is it easier to use the texting tool as a crutch to make yourself look too busy to pick up the phone and engage in a 5 minute conversation to genuinely see how the other is doing? Don’t get me wrong, I love to text, Tweet, Facebook message, OkCupid (back before I disabled my account) and even D-List. I was never one for the online hook-up but I have dabbled in the past because, frankly, the gay community is always looking for some sort of validation that they matter. Yes this is all much easier but it does raises more complications. One sentence could have a thousand meanings, especially for you over-analyzing gays out there (hell, myself included) but so can your verbal tone. Has texting killed romance? To a degree, yes. As Kutcher points out, “There’s no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.”
I propose this, dear followers: Pick up the phone this holiday season. Stop what you’re doing or how somebody made you feel in the past and listen to your gut. Maybe some people will surprise you and others wont, but isn’t that the risk? The power of verbal communication, face-to-face communication (use Skype for other reasons, horn-dogs) and hand-written snail mail is far greater than a few simple clicks of your touch screen key pads. The best part of all of this is that it is all flawed and with flaws come vulnerability. To show your vulnerable side to somebody is to, brick by brick, move your wall down and show a part of yourself to a stranger that you want to let in. When you show you are inclined to open-up, show your silly, grammatically incorrect side it proves you have the balls to say “Look at me, I’m here in front of you, feeling pretty naked and my heart is available.” This season I challenge you to make that connection, be with a friend or new love interest. Make the effort and it will bring you 100% closer than any sort of “convenient” communication tool. I pinky promise.