I used to call you on my telephone…

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Remember the days when your phone would ring, and you’d run to it with anticipation, wondering who it might be and what stories they might tell? We used to spend hours going through the mundane details of our lives with intense scrutiny, our wrists getting stiff from standing there so long, but still we endured. Nowadays when my phone rings (or more accurately, when I’m notified of a missed call because my phone is always on silent for the precise reason of not wanting to hear it ring), I dread returning their call. What do they want? Will I have to explain why I always miss their call, pretending I’m super busy and important? Can’t you just message me?

It is with a sad and brutal honesty that I admit I’ve become one of those people who simply do not enjoy long phone calls. Get to the point already! Why do we have to waste our time chit chatting about everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours, when you could wrap it up neatly in a message that I can either choose to reply to straight away, or dwell on for a few hours before exchanging my equally un-exciting news? If we can’t organise a catch up in real time for lack of being in the same city, then of course I’m happy to chat now and then on the phone at a pre-organised time. Let’s face it though, whenever your phone rings it’s usually the WORST possible time to drop everything you’re doing and dedicate yourself solely to this person for half an hour. I’m all for keeping in touch with friends, but I’m not happy to admit that today’s technology has made me an incredibly lazy communicator. I don’t like how things have become, but they are what they are.

On a slight tangent, why can’t we bring back the lost art of letter writing? I’m clearly more inclined to write down my feelings, thoughts and happenings, and would thoroughly enjoy penning a long letter to my friends (and receiving one in exchange). The trouble is that everything is so instant these days. If a photo isn’t shared within 24 hours of happening, it’s yesterday’s news. If our friends aren’t in the loop of what’s happening this week, then they sure as hell aren’t going to care what I did two weeks ago, by the time my letter arrives. I guess I’m just frustrated at how we have lost the ability to genuinely communicate, with the advent of such technologies designed to keep us up to date in real time with loved ones all over the world.

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.

Robert Frost. 

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Photo credits – awhimsywonderland & tv_stilllife

On authenticity and happiness

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I keep getting drawn to this image… there’s just something about the quiet wholeness to it. The genuine smile on his face, the simplicity of his surroundings. In the one breath he makes me joyful inside, but jealous too. Jealous of his emersion in nature, of his lifestyle free of materialistic possessions, and of his ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.

It’s difficult in today’s world to live a simple life, and I say that with gratitude for how lucky I am to have been raised in a safe, socially and economically sound environment. What I’m referring to though is the money-hungry, image-obsessed culture we are apart of, where life is a constant blur of advertisements, debts, shopping centres and selfies. This complete saturation makes it hard to live an authentic life – with a few clicks we can manipulate everything about ourselves and how others view us. We spend so long controlling everything that we can’t truly live in a moment or appreciate the simple things.

While I understand how useful technology is in various fields, I can’t help but feel that with it comes a detriment to our relationships and self-worth. We keep up with our friends online while losing that genuine connection and human interaction, we can easily cancel plans without being held accountable, and we can end relationships with a short message and no regret. Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. It just doesn’t feel right and humans were not built for such virtual existences. Even the realms of communities and villages have been destroyed, with most people having no idea what their neighbours names are. Forget borrowing milk from them, we can just get an Uber to deliver it to our door.

Of course, I appreciate how technology has greatly extended the fields of medicine and science, I just wish it didn’t come with all the other crap! (Excuse my language). I suppose the only thing we can do is focus on the things that matter – friends and loved ones, creative pursuits, health and wellbeing, and community service. To me these are the key elements to living an authentic and happy life, something that I am striving towards every day.

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Photo credit – fursty