Today a very brief but extremely important post.
Yesterday noon I met with my oldest friend ever, literally. Oldest in the sense that I’ve known her longer than any other friend; almost as long as I’ve known my siblings: we went to kindergarten together.
Anyway, although interesting, I’m not hear to recall our conversations, but something very profound I could not help but want to share:
From the very moment we exchanged greeting kisses to the very moment we parted, I gave her my and she gave me her undivided attention!
I say this because it is a rare but highly valuable gift these days. You see, we love each other dearly but do not spend a lot of time together. Apart from the fact that we live relatively far apart, have very different social circles now and lead somewhat busy lives, we do not see the need to constantly communicate. What we do cherish, however, is every single second spent together when we eventually do. Sometimes a year or even longer passes without us meeting up, but when it finally happens the world revolves only around us two.
This is not supposed to be a romantic, but corrective post; for I find a lot of people have lost the art of respectful and appropriate communication.
When I take out time to meet with you, (you see, this is a sacrifice) I do expect to spend meaningful moments with you; engaging in proper and meaningful conversation. Whether it be that we hang out, go hiking or biking, or even to the movies; there is a reason for our coming together. A meeting is not proper or meaningful when you reply every BBM or Whatsapp message you get, check your Facebook every few minutes, and answer every (or even decide to make a) call! This is extremely rude and disrespectful.
Social media has done more harm than good, you see. Most people have forgotten the art of communication: allowing the other speak while listening intently, asking clarifying or probing questions, spending minutes in comfortable silence. A lot of friends find it easier to communicate via chat than speaking face-to-face. This is a sad development!
Anyway, this was meant to be a very brief post. Today, I want to encourage you to learn to put your mobile phones aside once in a while. If you cannot switch it off completely for a day or two, learn to put it on silent (not vibrate!) for a few hours every day. Pause.
Learn to spend quality time with people face-to-face by not allowing your phone get in the way. Make a conscious decision and effort to not allow a Blackberry of iPhone get in the way of building a stronger friendship or any kind of relationship.
This has happened to me more than just once. Meeting up with a frind who decided Twitter and Facebook needed more attention. And no, I was not being a bore-hole. I ended up having to wait for responses for minutes and wondering “What the heck am I even doing here?”
Should an emergency really come up and you simply cannot but make or answer that phone call: excuse yourself! Basic manners 101. All human beings make allowances for such..