Do People Talk to Each Other Anymore?

I’ve never been much of a people-person. Conversation isn’t one of my strengths and I admit my face-to-face interaction with actual humans can be a little stilted and awkward. Even with friends, I just can’t talk more than a few minutes without things falling flat.

Recently this seemed to have changed. In the past couple of years I’ve been able to slip into conversations and chat. There has been a marked increase in the number of in-person friends I have, and talking doesn’t spontaneously cease at the end of a subject.

Progress! Yay!

Wait…hold on. Maybe not.

I’ve recently come to the realization that my hard-won social skills haven’t been improving as much as I thought they were. This realization came on the heels of finding out one friend was more than six months pregnant and another had left her husband almost a year previously. I had no idea.

Why did I not know these things? I talked to these two women weekly. Spent time with them on a regular basis. Face-to-face conversations! So how could I not know such important life-events about people who are my friends?

The answer was simple. Facebook.

Now, not being a social butterfly, I never got into personal social networking. I have author accounts on social networking sites but personal? No. I see my friends all the time, so why would I need to network online, right?

I was wrong. People don’t talk face-to face any more. Not about things that matter. Babies and engagements and divorces are all broadcast online to the masses in one general announcement. People send text messages instead of making phone calls. Group emails are sent to coordinate get-togethers. Talking in person? It’s reduced to the kind of meaningless chit-chat awkward folks like me can handle.

Well, I caved. I opened a personal Facebook account this morning and put friend requests out to a slew of people I see on a regular basis. Now that I’m hooked up online, maybe I can really get to know them.

Have you found online networking taking the place of personal social interaction? Tell me about your networking habits and experiences and you could win a copy of the 2011 HOUSTON FIREFIGHTERS CALENDAR.

Winner of past week’s prize, a PDF copy of RISKING ETERNITY goes to JESSICA B. Email me at voireylinger@gmail.com to claim your prize!

 

Voirey

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9 Comments

Filed under giveaway, misc., rambling, Voirey

9 responses to “Do People Talk to Each Other Anymore?

  1. Jessica B.

    Yes I would have to say that online networking seems to be taking place of personal social interaction. I’m not much of a social butterfly myself but I have gone to a couple of get togethers and worked on interacting with others. I find it easier to network online tho because I feel that people don’t know who you really are and you can be yourself without having someone judge you by your looks. The more you look at online networking, you actually get to know people that you wouldn’t have known if you were doing it face to face (ie people from other places, etc.). The only problem that I have with online networking is the communtications. You can read an email and take it one way but the person who wrote it did not mean for you to take it that way but had meant for you to take it a totally different way all together. I have my own personal blog and am part of Twitter and facebook where I try to keep up with everyone but I will always be a fan of personal social interaction over the online. . .
    jessangil at gmail dot com
    -Jessica

  2. Teresa Rozich

    I do think that social networking has made a difference in how we view the world. In some ways, it’s opened things up, and in others, it’s made us less able to meet people in person.

    I read an article, someone hooked up a program on facebook to water a plant every time someone visited. The plant died from over watering, yet we can all walk right past someone having trouble in person and not care. It’s weird. It’s easier to care for people you don’t really know (or plants).

  3. ChrisQ

    Great post, V.

    I was dragged into twitter by Someone and have found it a cool way to keep tabs on online friends, thought not many of my relatives use social media for family/personal life announcements.

    -Chris

  4. talesfromthecrit

    Jessica, I agree, it does make some interactions much easier. It’s a lot easier to stop by someone’s webpage and scan an update than it is to call and chat about what’s happening. But at the same time you don’t get as much from a quick scan of a general update.

    Teresa, It does close us off in a way. We know more but at the same time we can get so isolated. The plan thing is freaky but I can easily picture it.

    Chris, I have no idea what you could be talking about. None.

  5. AJ O'Donovan

    yeah i had a friend get engaged and throw a party without me knowing because she had it all on facebook and she never thought to mention it in person

  6. oh, yes. absolutely. it’s really so much easier to keep up with people that way now, I have to admit.

  7. It’s easier to keep up with people via social networks than regular conversations. Phone calls and lunches with my good friends are an hour-long commitment at least. Facebook is a good way to keep tabs on them between times, when time is short. I can check in from the train on the way to work, and in other downtime where a phone call wouldn’t be appropriate.

  8. Sasha Devlin

    I do think social media has changed the way we interact on a daily basis, but I still have a lot of face-to-face interations w/ the ppl on my Facebook. I am a social butterfly and that might make the difference. A friend of mine is NOT a ppl person at all, but she FB at least a couple of times a day which makes her seem more personable.

    I will admit I do FB people I see at work or my sister who lives less than 20 mins away. But it’s also a great way to show family new pics or to invite people to an event.

  9. talesfromthecrit

    Teresa is our winner!

    Please email. me at voireylinger@gmail.com to claim your prize.

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