This is a piece I did, called "MISSED COMMUNICATIONS" , it is how view our public at times. I have had a few conversations with family and friends about how I feel people have become cold and stand off-ish.
I remember walking anywhere and if someone crossed paths with you, you would greet each other, if not with words, with a nod of the head or a smile. These days we can spend over an hour next to a person on the train or bus and not even consider for a moment to smile or for the love of all human say "hello" or give them a greeting of some type. One of my friends said, he puts on his shades, headphones and always has something in front of his face to read, to make sure that no one will bother him on his commute. That in the mornings he can't make an effort to say hello, because it is too early to have any type of conversation. But, on the commute home, his day has been filled with too much "stuff" and having a conversation at that point would also be too much of an effort.
We are happy to say we are social and that lots of people "like" us or talk to us "all the time" because of our hundreds and thousands of "friends" we have online on our "social" networks. We are so busy looking down that we miss so many opportunities to meet great people, maybe even the "one". Not only do we miss those opportunities, but we also steal from the ones that do matter. We steal time from our loved ones and our relationships become empty and robotic. We are teaching the next generation to become unsocial and in real life situations, if they ever decide to go to any, they will feel awkward and then go to less and less of them. If we do not make decisions to become more interactive we will have a generation that walks into a home, no matter how loving, pass by and lock themselves into their room to jump on on their computers, tablets, phones and stay on them for hours. We will pass it off and call it a phase and be happy to get a text that says hey mom, because we think they will snap out of it. But who is teaching them how to become social?
I have two kids in college and a 9 year old and we made sure they greet people properly, answer the phone politely and have a short conversation with the person on the phone before handing it over to the intended receiver. When we walk off an elevator we say things like, "have a good day", or night, or "nice to see you again". We smile at people as we walk by and share a space on the sidewalk, we wave at the ones across the street. We taught them to be polite and interact, because we want them to know that being aware of those around you and acknowledging them could be the act of kindness that someone needs at that time. Occasionally, we might annoy people, but in most situations people appreciate the one moment of attention a stranger gives them.
Of course social media is a great way to connect and can be an amazing tool by keeping families that are separated in contact, share with several loved ones the same photos and videos of your family, help build up a business and even reconnect people. But if it replaces personal interactions it can become toxic. If you spend more time trying to find out what people you are acquainted with online are doing, instead of tucking in your kids and reading them a story, or talking to them as you cook dinner instead of propping a device in front of them so they stay our of your way, this is all harmful. Living your life in front of a screen or teaching our kids to, takes time from the real love and acknowledgement you can get from those that matter. We are always longing for acceptance, wouldn't it be better if you could laugh and belong and at the end of the conversation also get a hug.