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Real Connection

May 8, 2015

Technology. Love it or hate it, right? Well, I love it for sure because I appreciate technological advancement as it helps us to be more efficient, think smarter and work smarter. However, for me there is what I call the dark side of technology, and I deem this — lack of real connection.

By nature, I am a throwback to the days of nostalgia with having one house phone, that everyone used , with your mom or dad hollering up to your room, ”SONYA, TELEPHONE!!” And I would barrel down the stairs to get the phone attached to the kitchen wall with the cord that was forever tangled as I twirled even more during my school girl, wonder years conversations. Those were the days of sweet simplicity. My dad had to install call waiting, because I was tying up the phone constantly with my teenage chatter. That did not last long. He then had to get me my own phone line (woo hoo!!! ) . . . What was he thinking? Because I also had to have not just two-way calling, but lo and behold, three-way calling!! I was in teenage heaven. What more could a 14-year-old girl ask for?

Nonetheless, even with all of that, there was still that sense of human connection more so then, than there is now. Yes, we still have call waiting and the three-way feature on our smart phones, but the text mode is what is really robbing us of greater, real connection. People think that a quick text solves everything. Some people break up with a person via text and they really mean it. How sad. Other folks will text you constantly verses calling you, totally avoiding that great sensation of voice connection that allows you to hear the inflection and tone of what the person is truly relaying to you. In a text, you cannot do this, albeit the little emoticon that we add to the text, to try to drive our points home with emotion. This just does not cut it for me at some point. I personally would rather that a person just pick up the phone and talk to me instead of texting me to get that sense of emotion. Then we have those people who don’t text at all, but they will read it and then call you back. I mean to a fault, I get that too, and to each his own as I am not judging.

I don’t do Facebook, or what I like to call Fakebook, because once again people can hide behind their masks with a fake name and a false life constantly loosing connection with who God truly intended them to be. I suppose it’s easy to post the life you live in your mind, as opposed to living the dream of the life you have in reality. I commend those people on Facebook that truly use it for the truth about themselves, as this takes courage. When I hear some people say that they have 500 friends, I think to myself, ”DO YOU?”

Smart phones, Facebook, text messaging and even Twitter are great technological mediums when used positively to connect on certain levels. I suppose I am a sucker for opening up my mailbox and getting a real handwritten letter from a loved one or an old friend. The thrill of being able to hold the paper they have written on in my hands, the smell of the ink blots from a leaky pen all work together, taking me back to those nostalgic days when humans were not so technologically advanced, but we were more so emotionally advanced with real connection.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for The Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

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