Lying awake in bed last night I wondered if I died how long it would be before anyone noticed. My children are all grown up now, the youngest left home in October last year. I wasn’t feeling morbid, more reflecting on how disconnected we are from everyone today and don’t seem to have so many meaningful connections. It’s easy to send a quick text, a social media comment or a message using a myriad of apps because we are too busy to get caught up in a real conversation. If you tend to be introverted like me then it takes longer to build up a meaningful friendship than ever. People are very quick to post likes and compliments but how many of them would actually pick up the phone to see how you are? One if you’re lucky. I may have about 500 ‘friends’ on Facebook – I did have over 2000 at one point but I only have a deep connection with a few of them.
We get a fleeting moment of pleasure when someone replies to our message but if we see they’ve read it and haven’t replied how hurt do we feel?
I had been on a retreat at the weekend where no one was using their phones or internet. I hadn’t met many of the people before and the rest I hadn’t seen for 2 years or more. Yet in some ways I feel more connected to them than I do my own family. If I don’t call my sons or my parents they are very unlikely to call me. I’ve tried in the past to leave it until they do but after a week or so I give in. So it would be a long time before they noticed I was gone.
If I didn’t reply to someone’s message or text they would probably assume I was busy as I do in the same situation. I think we are more nervous about calling people these days because we’re worried about bothering them. I go on regular retreats so again it would be several days before anyone noticed anything peculiar.
I mostly seem to talk on the phone for business or administration purposes only these days. It almost makes me hanker for the days when email was the preferred mode of communication. Anything is better than this.
So this week if someone texts or messages me I am not going to reply. No, I am going to pick up the phone and call them. I am not going to text or message anyone either. I going to call them instead. It will be interesting to see what their reactions are, if they even bother to pick up or call back if they are busy. Which is extremely likely – that they will be busy that is.
Reporting back next week…