I do, sometimes, loathe the internet. Now that that's out of the way, I'll go on to explain myself.
I think I might've been born in the wrong era. I like face-to-face conversations. I like being able to read another person's facial expressions instead of having to infer them from an email or emoticon. I do appreciate online ((hugs)), but can anything really replace the feeling of having another wrap their arms around you in a heartfelt embrace? I love getting personal emails (no forwards please!), but there's just something about a stamped letter arriving in my mailbox, with a scrawled message in the unique handwriting of a friend, that just can't compare.
I marvel at the ability of instant communication. Email, texting, INSTANT messaging, pm-ing. Our family has been enjoying the benefits of IMing, which I will share tomorrow in another post. Sometimes I wonder though, if this ability is actually enabling us to not put as much effort into "real" relationships. Do we make as much time for actual people as we do for our inbox? It's not as easy, but I think it's more rewarding.
We all have busy lives and responsibilities that demand our time, energy, and attention. Real relationships are a sacrifice and something that we need to allow room for in our hectic lives. I can't remember the last time I mailed a hnad-written letter, but I make time for phone calls. I make time for house-to-house visits. Whenever I'm in the town where several of my friends live, I try to stop-by and say Hello as much as possible. I plan get-togethers. I'm not sure if these gestures go unnoticed or if a quick 3-line email is appreciated just as much.
I'm the kind of girl who loves to curl up with a hot cuppa something in a quaint coffee shop and spend a few hours chatting about life. Let's sit on your front porch with a cold glass of ice tea while we watch our children play. Let's turn off the hard drives and at least put the cell phones on vibrate for just a little while. I realize that with far-flung family and friends, sometimes this just isn't possible. And email is useful for so many things. It's just that it's so much easier to see the pain, buoy the hope, roar with laughter, share the tears when you're sitting by my side instead of in front of your monitor.