I am a big fan of social media. Without it, I’d have missed out on many transformative relationships, experiences, and opportunities throughout my life. I’m sure many of you can relate.
But since nothing is perfect, there are parts of social media and the general direction of modern society that makes me cringe just a little bit. Or we could say, annoyed AF.
You might be wondering what “annoyed AF” means, and if so, congratulations! “AF” is the lazy person’s way of writing “as fu–“. Oh, are you wondering why I didn’t write out the F word? That’s because I’m classy AF.
Anyway, this is just one of many stupid terms used by people to save what might be assumed to be multitudes of time, because you know, writing out “shaking my head” instead of “smh” took me about .4 seconds longer. Not to mention as we read, we tend to say the words in our head, so imagine saying “smh” or “smdh” out loud. It sounds like you’re sneezing. Dumb AF.
Here’s the thing though, (thankfully) these fads come and go. They catch fire and become popular for a little bit, and then they fade off into the darkness to be replaced by the next, iteration that will allow people to put in less effort to get their point across.
You know what else annoys me? Using “n” instead of “and.” There’s already a single character abbreviation for “and” —> “&.”
But, I digress. There is a bigger problem posed by this laziness, and that is the willingness to do anything that requires the least amount of effort. Like, say, building a relationship with another human being.
I have read text messages between couples that literally look like hieroglyphics and have virtually no connection to the English language, that I can only assume these people are trying to speak.
Now, technically, I am a millennial – which by label would categorize me with many of the guilty parties I’m referring to here, but I actually value how I present myself to the world, and therefore do my best to use proper grammar and spelling in all scenarios. Yes, even in text messages and on Facebook.
Communication is a valuable tool that we are squandering. It literally changes the way people perceive you and interact with you. In today’s society, the way you type is (at times) more important than the way you speak, because odds are that many more people will read something from you, than actually hear your voice.
Our primary methods of communication have evolved (or maybe, devolved) into email, social media, and texting. For that reason, we try to find shortcuts to get our message across quicker, but at what price?
I do believe that people are looking for more and more shortcuts to get to where they want to go. And I would ask, if this is the case, how can we ever fully appreciate stability, security, and longevity? Simply by nature, something built on a quick, flimsy foundation, cannot last in the long term.
Will we eventually forget what an LTR looks like?
That’s long-term-relationship for you non-millennials.
Will we eventually forget what it’s like to take pride in something we build? Something we create? Because we just needed to get to the final result as quickly as possible so we could move to on to the next thing.
And if we know we are just going to move on to the next thing when we’re done with this thing, why would we put too much time and effort into this thing? We wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t make any sense.
But it’s legitimately dangerous to see relationships in the same light, because relationships with other people are what give us fulfillment. Friendships, intimate relationships, family – all kinds of interactions with people. Isolation and loneliness is literally dangerous for our health, and as we connect to more and more people online, we find that we are truly connecting to fewer and fewer people in person.
Why? Because it takes more time. It takes more effort. It takes more energy. And, it takes ignoring your phone while you fully absorb the other person’s presence.
So, tell me in the comments, do you feel that this is an increasing problem in modern society? And what do you think needs to be done to fix it?
This article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog