Friday, March 10, 2006

The drawback of our modern times...

We’ve made it very easy, I fear, with all our modern technology to distance ourselves from the ones we love.

Pretty heavy thought for a Friday, I know…

This is something that was recently pointed out to me, and has been twisting around in the wind tunnel that is my mind ever since. It seems that many of my friends text me, or chat with me on the internet, or read my blog once a week, and think that keeps them up to date on what’s going on with me at any given time. There are even those of my friends that when asked about it, simply prefer the half-sentences and poor timing of text messaging and chat to a phone call. There are nuances to interpersonal communication that are transmitted in conversation that don’t translate otherwise. I called two of my close friends this week, and realized that I hadn’t actually spoken to them in any real sense in months.

Our lives are better for living in the computer age, and it’s truly a miraculous time we live in… in many ways, we are more connected to the rest of humanity than we have ever been in history; but I can’t’ help but think that there’s something we’ve lost along the way. We’re all becoming more reclusive, and it saddens me.

This disturbs me a great deal. It disturbs me even more to think that those who keep up with me solely via my blog actually think that they’re getting the pertinent facts about my life, or my uncensored attitudes about what goes on with me. In a way, it also allows me to justify my distancing myself from certain folk I probably shouldn’t be.

I know this is a subject I go on upon a bit, but when I write this blog, I do so in an effort to be entertaining… It’s true that in many ways, what you read here has become my memoirs, but there is a lot y’all never hear about. Things about me that I feel that those that care about me have every right to know, but not things I want the planet to read about.

The real “Rob” is definitely not the one you see here, but is far more the one the “management” sometimes alludes to. The amount of personal change and growth I’ve experienced in the past few years is also not something I normally talk about here… something I like to think is evident from a conversation with me, but the “voice” of this blog is far more the irresponsible, party-loving oaf I was back in college; that many of my friends still see me as, apparently.

Thing is, that’s not me at all. There are parts of that still in me, mind you… I like to think I will always be a bit more free-spirited than most, and my priorities aren’t always those of the typical man my age. Still, I’m not the same guy I was a few years ago. You’d have to talk to me to find that out, though… and I don’t mean the same old small talk, I mean really talk to me.

Then again, maybe I’m just having a rough week. In any event… if you have any questions, call me. My number is in the book.


Becca said...

We've all changed so much.

I was thinking about this the other day, you and I have been friends for 15 years. Didn't we meet in that Journalism class in 1991? Around this time?

Happy 15 year anniversary. :)

I often wonder a lot about how you are doing, back when I was all over the country, back when we lost touch for a while, and now I wonder how you and others are doing. You are right, a lot of my friends think a weekly quick email to say hi is enough to satisfy my curiosity, but I find my friends' response emails tend to get shorter and shorter as time goes by.

A lot has been gained, and a lot has been lost, and we all have changed in immeasurable ways.

I don't have "the book" to look up your number, but I may have it stored away somewhere here, I probably do.

Feel free to call me whenever you like. I miss talking to you.

I'll call you one of these days when you least expect it. :)

Melinda Barton said...

Dude, it was great to hear from you. We have to talk more often, preferably in person when you come to visit. I love the blog, but it usually just makes me want to ask about 50 million questions about what's really going on. Let's talk again soon.

dreamwalker said...

I always think of you as the blog-next-door for some reason. I don’t know what the problem is with your friends, but for anyone to think they can really know about someone’s life from a blog..? I probably suffer from a more severe strain of Internet Paranoia than most, but still. A blog can definitely only be a shadow of anyone’s life, no matter how well they write. And you do write exceptionally well...Do you ever do humorous stories for magazines?

happy2sing said...

I've thought about how someone who knew me in school wouldn't even recognize my personality today or would have been able to predict how it would change. So I understand with what you are saying. Since you keep your blog pretty close to your college personality, though, reading your blog is a bit of a nostalgia trip for me.