Post: September 7th, 2014
Text message conversations are not real. Neither are Instagram posts, tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, videos via Snapchat, etc. We as human beings living in a digital world have lost a sense of what is real and what is not and in my opinion, this is why.
In this day of the digital world, we are losing out on one of the greatest things God has ever bestowed upon us, one on one human interaction. Social media makes it so easy for one to make up this perfect online persona. Anyone can be whoever they want, say whatever they want, do whatever they want (or make it seem as if they are doing so), and look however they want (especially if they’ve perfected the right angle). I know this, because I do it a bit myself. Trust me; my life is not as exciting as it seems online. The “cool parties” I’m posting that I’m at, are probably really not that cool. My make-up and hair probably isn’t that perfect in real life (ask Frankie V in the morning, he knows). I am definitely not as inspirational as my posted quotes may make me seem to be (although I would like to think that I am somewhat inspirational at times). Filters and Camera Apps made my DIY project look THAT much cooler and all the Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags are definitely not all mine (they’re mostly my friend Christine’s). Do you see what I’m saying?
Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that text messages are not real either. Yes, text conversations may be a little more authentic than social media posts however when that one on one human interaction is eliminated from relationships, whichever kind they might be (love, friends, family, etc.) that rawness and realness is lost. Let me explain the difference between a text message and a real in person conversation. Text messages are most times, well thought out. Via text, one can be witty, compassionate, angry, sexy, nice, mean, funny, confident, etc. A text message really can be whatever emotion you want it to be; AFTER you take the time to decide what it is or who it is you’re trying to portray. Is that really you though?
In person, we don’t get to filter those emotions. In person, you don’t have time to think about your reaction or think about what you are going to say. You are raw. You are real. You are uncensored. And if you make a mistake or say something you probably shouldn’t have, at least it was you! At least it was your real, true, authentic self.
In person, your face expression alone can speak a thousand words. Via text we get an emoticon that was carefully chosen to display the exact emotion the other person WANTS us to see. Is it their real emotion though? Probably not! It’s a damn emoticon for God’s sakes!
In person you also get to actually feel what the other person is saying. You can tell if one is sad, or happy, or excited, or real, or fake. You can physically feel all those things when one is in front of you. You can see it in their mannerisms, in their movements, in their facial expressions. Via text you can’t do that.
Instead of actually meeting up for coffee these days, people keep in touch via posting comments on Instagram (Miss you, let’s catch up soon xoxo!). Instead of telling someone how you feel directly, people “sub-tweet” now knowing that the other person will know EXACTLY that that post was meant for them. Side note: if you don’t know what sub-tweet is here is the definition (from the Urban Dictionary of course). “Sub-tweet: A tweet (message posted on the website Twitter) that mentions a Twitter member without using their actual username. Usually employed for negative or insulting tweets.” By the way, you can sub-Facebook and sub-Instagram also (You know that mean quote someone posted that we all know was meant for his or her ex? That’s what I’m talking about).
Now I’m sure not EVERYTHING someone may text, tweet, or post is fake. There is always a little bit of truth behind every text, post, email, etc. However on all those outlets all we are getting is a polished version of the truth. It actually really angers me that these days, no one feels a need to call one another anymore when first establishing a relationship. It’s all via text. Most people probably don’t even know what the other persons voice sounds like. Who has ever talked to someone via text or online forever and then when you finally hear their voice for the first time, you’re kind of thrown off?
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the uncensored, raw, truth because at least that’s what it is, the truth. I’d take someone’s flaws any day over a manufactured perfected version of who they really are. I’d rather create REAL IN PERSON authentic relationships with others over fake ones via social media, text messages, or email. If you want to get to know me, let’s meet up for coffee or a glass of wine. If that’s too hard for you, then I will assume that our relationship really is not that important to you anyway.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we as human beings need to get back to the basics. Yes, social media and texting is fun and all good however let’s re-establish those one on one personal relationships with one another. There is something to say about having a nice long conversation/laugh over coffee or having an intellectual chat with someone while walking at the beach. Those are the kind of relationships I want in my life and my hope would be that you would realize the importance of those relationships too. So put down your phone today, look someone in the eye, and actually talk to them. Maybe you’ll finally get to know the person you’ve been looking for all along.