Personal Connections in a Digital World

25 11 2013

It seems like the more and more that I live, the more jaded I could become, the more skeptical I could become of people’s true intentions, the more I grow afraid that people will hurt me.  The older I get, the more cautious I get about falling in love, making plans for forever, maintaining friendships and living out my life with people. 

It’s easy to see where that comes from.  Turn on your TV, we have 24 hour news stations that constantly report on the thousands of things going wrong in the world.  Our Congress can’t get along, Walmart workers are not being paid a reasonable wage, so they’re rallying against their employer, the wrong people can get their hands on guns, schools are not safe, the world is so many inches away from nuclear holocaust….the list of negativities goes on and on.

Then if we look at the human population in general…and we see a bunch of self-centered people that are obsessed with using technology to undermine your relationships and who use it to control others.  We see people who are constantly glued to the television set or computer screen, or telephone…and not tuned into the relationships they have in their lives.  Instead of sitting down and telling someone how we feel, we use a song or a scene from a movie/TV show to explain how we feel, just in case they don’t return it, because we’re so afraid of being hurt and experiencing that hurt in a real and honest way, that we’ll do anything to avoid it.  And when we are hurt, it’s usually over a silly thing, but we broadcast  our feelings in a facebook status, or we are passive aggressive about what we say. 

The truth of the matter is that we would rather have technology to express it all, than to actually deal with the emotions we experience, or use that technology to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on with us.

For that reason, I find it hard to be an optimist, because it’s like we are turning into robots that are pre-programmed to think and do certain things, instead of making each experience a unique, human experience. 

Until we can utilize the technology to enhance face-to-face time with people and not use it in ways that it was not intended to replace human interaction, our face-to-face interactions will suffer.  When facebook and texting replaces the face-to-face time, we have simply become robots in a highly connected, but disconnected world.  It’s easier to communicate things using technology, but the problem with that is that we don’t have the opportunity to look in the eyes of the other person and recognize that the words we are saying have an effect on another human being.  That’s why cyberbullying is so rampant!  It’s harder to look at a person and say mean things about them, but much easier when it’s a computer screen looking back at you.  The computer screen doesn’t cry. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for technology.  Skype is a wonderful invention that allows me to interact with my friends who are long distances away.  Texting is a great way to keep in touch or ask quick questions.  Phone calls are good when you can’t physically go see the person.  I am very grateful for technology!  I truly am thankful that it is there.  But, use it wisely.  Don’t use it for the wrong reasons, and remember that there is a person behind the screen on the other side of it all. 

Through all this, this technology reminds me of how important it is to maintain personal connections.  It reminds me of how much of a gift love is, regardless of the form it is in, and it reminds me of how special it is to have found someone that you can share life with.  Technology is there to enhance this, not to use it to become a stalker or constantly question a person’s whereabouts.  When we keep and maintain such connections with people, we truly get to experience the miracle it is that we call relationships. 


17 11 2013

Flip thorough a magazine, you’ll see headlines promising that if you do this and that, you’ll be more attractive.  Search through the TV, and you’ll see commercials for miracle products that promise to help you lose weight.  Walk through a shopping mall, and you’ll find clothes that show off what people claim to be the most attractive parts of the body.  Look at kids’ toys, you’ll find their dolls and action figures have this idea of what attractiveness is, and these are the role models that they grow up with.  Listen to talk radio, and they’ll tell you the latest superfoods to eat in order to create glowing skin…if there is one thing that I can positively say about our modern media, it’s that we are completely obsessed with this idea of the fact that people have to do something in order to be attractive.  We are completely infatuated with the latest 10 steps to be beautiful or attractive.  We search the internet to find ways to appear sexy. 

Now, you’ve heard it before, that it’s on the inside that really counts.  Well, by looking at our media and the tools available to us, it seems like everyone says that, but no one really believes it.  Do we truly believe that being a better person is more important than looking like a good person?  Do we truly believe that inner beauty will get us further in life, than looking sexy?  Do we truly believe it?  If you say you truly believe it, do you still despise the way you look?  Are you satisfied with the way your nose is shaped, or the density of your thighs?  Do you belittle yourself with the way that you look, when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror? 

I’ve never thought I was beautiful.  I’ve never thought that I was attractive.  And actually, until recently, no one has ever told me that they find me sexy or attractive.  All I’ve ever heard all my life from a particular source is “if you would do this, you’d be prettier,” or “if you’ll let me fix your hair, it’ll look better.”  People I’ve dated in the past have never looked at me and thought I was attractive.  And all my life, I’ve hated the size I am, or the shape.  And when I look at the modern media, and I listen to the words of society…it just does nothing to make me feel better about those things.  When I look at the things around me, I get extremely frustrated, because I know that not everyone is this type or way.  I know that our media is an unfair representation of the world around us. 

What makes people attractive?  What makes them sexy? 

What is beauty?

I find beauty in a baby’s laugh and trust of you.  I find adorableness in the relationship a parent has to their child.  I find attractiveness in the way that a person treats a pet, and then, the way that the same pet lavishes love in return.  I find sexiness in the way that someone makes me feel, if they make me feel valued and loved, it’s like their attractiveness grows 1,000%.  I find beauty in a loving touch, in the way someone hugs me when I have had a bad day.  I find adorableness in the way people treat each other.  When they treat each other badly, I’m suddenly sure that this person is not attractive at all.  Sure, there’s initial physical attractiveness, but what builds it to something deeper than just physical attractiveness is the beauty inside, the love inside.  For example, I can pick many celebrities….there’s a lot of attractive ones out there.  But that’s just it.  To me, they’re attractive, but that’s all.  You show me someone who is physically attractive, and then they show you love that lives in them in some form or fashion….and their attractiveness grows. 

But, I suppose this is a minority opinion.  Not everyone thinks along these lines. 

What do you think beauty is?

Job and Responsibilities

5 11 2013

I’ve never wanted to grow up.  I loved Peter Pan as a child, still enjoy watching old Disney movies, and imagine it was me that was whisked away from the growing older process, so that I could live all my days singing and dancing, and doing whatever else my heart was content to do.  In my mind, what a wonderful world it would be, to live my life without all of these difficult things, chores and other things that you have to do.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just sit around, watch movies or TV all day, or play video games, or read all day without life harboring on the horizon?  Wouldn’t it be great to just not have any responsibilities? 

Such is the life that I’ve dreamed of. 

Unfortunately, this is not the life I can live, because of two things:  I need money to survive, and I will eventually get lonely and bored. 

See, I was raised that if you want something, you gotta work for it.  That’s where the money thing comes in.  If I want to eat, I gotta work for it.  If I wanna go see plays, I have to work for it.  If I need new shoes, I have to work for them.  You cannot maintain a household without a means of earning money.  I have to work.  Doesn’t mean I always want to get up at 5 in the morning, doesn’t mean I always am so excited about my job…but it pays the bills.  Part of being an adult is having the means to pay for things, being responsible enough to suck it up, and go do my job…not to let anything be an excuse to not do my job, except if I were to be sick or something.  I live on a shoestring, yes, I live on minimum wage, yes…but that’s part of being an adult.  Especially if you have pets, or children to take care of.  I know that one day, the same thing will be expected of me as a parent or a pet owner, and so now is practice for that. 

The second is that I honestly would get too bored if I did not have my job.  My job keeps me going, it keeps me sane.  It forces me to have human interaction, and gets me out of the house.  When one person stays too much inside a house, I honestly believe that they can go insane from it.  I think it is healthy to get yourself out of the house, and to interact with the modern world.  I’m innately an introvert, and could go hours being happily occupied by myself.  At the same time, I recognize and realize the healthy benefits of human interaction, and not just with those with whom you live (wait…I don’t live with anyone!), but out in the world, hearing the sounds of the world, smelling the smells, no matter how unpleasant.  Interaction with the world around you helps to make you aware of just how insignificant some of your problems are, and how small they are….which aids in the letting go process. 

I may love my job some days, and some days I hate it.  Some days, I spring out of bed, and others, I snooze til the very last second.  But there’s no denying that my life is made better by having a job.  It may stress me out, upset me, make me mad….but it is my job, and it is my responsibility…and so I will grow up, I will be that adult. 

My job is not my only responsibility.  I also have my work at the church, I have a young girl whom I babysit some afternoons, I have the house to manage and run, I have a relationship I have to upkeep, I have friendships that I have to manage….but I don’t think I’d trade them for anything.  And in that, I’m glad to be an adult. 

When Things Get Crazy

2 11 2013

When things get crazy, slow down.  Take a moment, breathe.  Remember and center yourself, remind yourself that this is not the last day of your life, nor is it the definition of your life.  Smile.  Gather your peace.  Do not let the craziness consume and control you, do not let it alter your personality.  Allow it to give you a gung-ho attitude about your conflict and go to tackle it.  When things get crazy, rest when you can.  Celebrate your life, and the people who are in it.  Love them just a little more, hold on to them just a little tighter.  When things get crazy, do not let anger ruin your life, but just accept it as a challenge, and get back to it, determined as ever. 

When things get crazy, appreciate the little things.  The little hugs, the words of encouragement, the small kisses, the intimate moments.  Take a little longer in cuddling.  Be sure to look in each other’s eyes, to find that love that you share. 

When things get crazy, do not allow your circumstances to pollute your life and your love for someone.  Allow it to make it better.  Take your time.  Do not rush your life just because things are crazy.  Take a moment and remember, remind yourself of the love you have, and the gift of that love. 

Do not waste your life just because it gets crazy.  Do not use that as an excuse to hurt someone. 

And when things are not crazy, appreciate it.