Thursday, September 17, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ Cyber Speak...



So since last week's BlogAnon meeting was so well attended I thought I'd open the virtual doors again this Friday. It seems that everyone felt better sharing their blogging sins and learning a thing or two along the way. Grab some coffee and stale donuts and come on in.

I have a grandmother who chastises me for not writing her more often. I used to have all kinds of pen pals with friends and family due to all the moving around I did growing up. But now, with e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texting and of course, blogs, to choose from, I have found that the only time I ever pick up a pen to convey my thoughts is when we send out holiday cards. So my rebuttal to my Grandma is that she should get connected. Fat chance.

I know more details about my friends and family than ever before, but physically talk to them less than I used to. I don't need to call people any more to catch up and see what they're doing. I know already from all their electronic "alerts". I can watch their kids grow up before my eyes from all the photos and videos I receive on a regular basis. So the need to actually get together isn't as urgent.

Being the throwback Bumbles that we are, Andy and I do actually speak to each other in person on a daily basis. But we also exchange messages throughout the day on e-mail. If we needed to we could communicate through the blog or Facebook. I could set up a Twitter account and he could follow me throughout the day. He could text me updates to let me know what he was up to in between Facebook status updates. We could send photos of each other through our phones. By the time we got home there'd be nothing left to share. More time for online.

Since I see so many people constantly on their phones and other devices staying in touch wherever they go, I wonder how in touch they really are with the ones they love. Are you guilty of communicating with your loved ones more through technology than you do in person? Do you think it brings you closer together or is it tearing you apart? Or had you not even noticed, what with all that blogging you do?

17 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

You are right on, especially with Facebook. Now I know when my cousin is having a hard time at work, Aunt Barb has a new love interest, and my friends on the other side of town just a birthday. But before Facebook, I didn't call or write these people, so it has actually brought us all closer. I still call my mom at least once or twice a week (even though she is an uber Facebooker!). My husband detests all this stuff. We might send e-mails throughout the day, but we sit down and talk every evening! I have resisted Twitter, mainly for the reason that it just seems way over the top. I can't even have a face to face conversation with some people, because they have their nose stuck in their blackberry. I've actually had to stoop down, get in their line of sight and say "hello! hello! I am here!"

Susan said...

Hmmmm...so, yes and no. I do stay in touch with a few members of my family more often, especially my niece (more like my sister), who is too busy for phone calls because she works two jobs...and when we get on the phone it's always at least an hour.

It's really funny, because when I first started Facebook, I thought I would talk to certain people more often, but now I'm finding out that I don't "talk" to them any more often than I did by phone.

As for people I always called an a regular basis, I find that I don't call them as often, which is a shame. I'm too busy blogging and FBing. I really have to do something about that. I'm going to call my 91-year-old aunt today!

I have a Twitter account, but only so I can follow this one called "Sh#t My Dad Says" which is hilarious!

DH and I never email each other. He's too busy with work emails and meetings...and he thinks Facebook is weird and evil. I'm trying to convince him otherwise! Well....maybe it IS weird and evil!

Diane said...

This is so so true. I've always hated talking on the phone, but with technology, I do it less and less. Even screen calls and reply to voice messages via email etc..now...rude huh??

GO SOX....wildcard being their only chance :(

ds said...

In truth, I have found that email has been the best way to keep up with old college & H.S. friends (also my parents; my father is literally attached to his computer). I am a very irregular snail mail correspondent, so electronics have been a boon. No twitter or facebook for me, though. And I've found that I have better conversations with the College Student via texting than the telephone...

The Bumbles said...

Diane - Caller ID is a whole other issue - screening calls is just way too easy to do and I find myself putting off conversations to a later point instead of just answering the phone and then before you know it, I never did get around to ever calling them back.

Susan - I'm scared of Twitter. I really don't want to know EVERYTHING about everyone. I think it is interesting that we reveal so much more with the perceived mask that technology provides, yet half of that stuff we never talk about in person.

Sandy - I despise that people wear their bluetooth everywhere they go or constantly have their focus on their blackberry instead of the people around them. Although how different is that from having a nose always buried in a book? I guess my issue is that people are less and less likely to put the book or device away when they should be interacting with people face to face - like when ordering a meal or out with their children.

DS - I have built much closer relationships with my cousins who live very far away because of e-mail. We save money on all those long distance phone conversations we used to have sporadically instead. And when we do get together every few years we are more in tune with each other's lives. So I agree that it can enhance communication. I am just worried that it could very easily turn into the ONLY type of communication.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Absolutely! You know how many times I see families sitting at a restaurant, and at least half the family is IMing? We have a rule at our house...no distractions when we sit down to eat. No TV, no phones, no books, no iPods. My 11 year old thinks she desperately needs a cell phone too, and I am standing firm. Trouble comes with those things with young kids!

otin said...

I have found that I tend to correspond with my blog friends more than I do with my family. Maybe that is bad, maybe not? I just like meeting new people.

The Bumbles said...

Otin - no doubt, the web is an excellent place to branch out and meet new people. I love that part of it. Like you said, sometimes it is easy to get so wrapped up in that new world of people to neglect the real world ones!

Sandy - good for you keeping that cell phone out of her hands. I don't envy you that battle though.

Matty said...

God bless technology. HOW did people in the "old days" ever get by?

Ok, but to be serious, my wife calls me a lot to check in, and expects me to do the same. She enjoys an email just to say I love you.

The Bumbles said...

Matty - using technology to say I Love You is not a sin to confess on BlogAnon! That is just a super sweet confession. And I'm sure your wife appreciates it immensely :0)

kaye said...

no my kids are at my house every day so there is no need to contact them electronically.

I do keep up with my sisters and their kids via blogging, and telephone as they live too far away from me, so I'm grateful for that or I wouldn't even know what the grand nieces and nephews look like.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I use electronics to keep in touch with family and friends so much more. But we have an unusual situation in that we are on the road all the time. Our children and grandchildren all live in different areas so we do a lot of email newsletters and of course lots of phone calls. Our lifestyle requires cell phones and laptops. And we do it so much more.

However - these wonderful tools can become rude tools. People who talk loud on their cell phones in public and people who are constantly texting others when they are with me - I consider all of those practices as rude. If you are with me, BE with me.

Overall, I'm very thankful for these new methods which can improve communication. It's been so good in linking people together and has changed so many things. I like that we have a young generation who are communicating all the time. Now there is a need for manners and some restraint. As a book lover I believe we all need long periods of silence to read and think and listen and absorb each other and/or music.

stacybuckeye said...

I think Facebook is great. I only update my status once or twice a week, but it connects to my blog posts, so people can keep track of me if they want and I know what's going on with them.
I never have liked talking on the phone, don't even have caller id. If I don't want to talk I just won't answer it. I actually say on my machine that 'maybe' I'll call you back. No false advertising from me :)

The Bumbles said...

Stacy - How have you found the key to Facebook by only updating a few times a week? If everyone used it that way I think it would be way more effective!

Kaye - it is terrific that you and your kids communicate in person daily - so many people rely on virtual methods even when living under the same roof!

Margot - it must be awesome to have all these tools available while living on the go all the time. But I totally agree - certain segments of society abuse them and it is that rudeness that bothers me and makes me worry if some day that will be just an accepted way of life :0(

An Eerie Tapestry said...

I'm definitely guilty of communicating more with my girlfriend by technology, though that's a necessity due to the distance between us. Plus, we spend lots of our time just talking about and counting down to when we're going to meet in person again (virtual conversations are no substitute for real life). In a retro move, we've also started to write snail mail letters to each other - it's strange how much more exciting receiving real mail can be than virtual mail; maybe because it's more tangible and personal.

The Bumbles said...

ET - I think what is special about letters is that they can be held in your hand, saved and re-read, and the handwriting exudes the personality and emotion of the person at that moment. I have found lately that since I have to write so little anymore that I can hardly even write correctly without screwing up a letter here or there. I feel like an idiot when I can't even write proper cursive. Technology introduced you to your girlfriend and makes it easier for the two of you to stay in touch and get to know each other, but I think it is great that you want to go old school with exchanging written letters - that's just like writers to think of something like that ;0)

jehara said...

I love being able to read my friends' blogs to stay updated with them on a day to day basis because none of us are big on the phone. And I like Facebook for staying connected to those who do not live near me. However, I am still a huge fan of the good old-fashioned letter. My best friend of forever and I keep a journal that we pass back and forth via the post that contains our letters to each other. Since I recently moved out of state, a few of my friends and I exchange letters. My other best friend who has been in grad school for the last three years and is way too busy for the phone, I write her letters too.
I personally do not send out holiday cards. It feels like a chore. I try to stay on top of people through letter writing when they are out of reach geographically and I am known for that out of the blue phone call.
I like to mix the current technology with that of days past. It feels like a good balance when you can't hang out in person.