Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Return of Personal Conversation

Greta Gormley
iExamen 1
25 September 23, 13
            Controversy constantly ensues around the generation dubbed as the millennials.  Being one of these millennial’s myself I have only known social media to be the most prominent type of communication. I’ve learned to text instead of call, email instead of snail mail, and facebook someone instead of looking them up in a phonebook. Communication is consistently evolving and we are in an age of constant interaction with one another. However, through my self examination I’ve learned that I don’t need to only communicate through the ways I’ve learned bur rather disconnect myself in order to reconnect myself with personal communication.
            It’s no secret that my friends would rather refresh their newsfeed than engage in refreshing conversation. We convey our emotions through emails, texts, status’ and even tweets. Those who are prone to be more introverted are able to express themselves through these social media outlets and even through the clothes on their back. They use these outlets- and others- such as clothing, hair, makeup, and tattoos in order to symbolize who they are and what they like. By gazing up instead of gazing down at my phone during reflection I’ve been able to notice people’s clothes can tell you a lot about a person. It can explain where a person is going- maybe class- or where they have been –the gym. They can tell you whether a person enjoys a certain genre of music or even a particular sports team. Almost everything today is used as a way of communication or expression. Tattoos can symbolize a deeper meaning or even a story a person wants to remember. People can personify themselves through these different symbols of expression in order to communicate to others who they believe to be as a person.
            As my friends and I have realized, much because of the discretion of our parents, that we need to put down our technology down in order to have real relationships with people. During my hour of unplugging my friends agreed to join in to see what we could accomplish without our phones and laptops. We were able to enjoy an abnormally hilarious lunch partly because we were all attentive to conversation for once but mostly because we got to see how absurd people looked who are eating together but don’t glance up from their phones. We were able to notice how much more connected we could be if we rested our phones on the table for a measly hour. By engaging in conversation our body language was more relaxed then those whose eye were glued to their phone. We have realized you don’t need to refresh your feed in order to keep updated on someone’s life you can just ask him or her. Because we have become so comfortable as making our cell phones-or even any other form of technology- our friends we’ve learned to be content having a relationship with technology in place of people.
            Examining myself has made me realize how I don’t need a constant feed of people’s tweets, statuses, or emails for entertainment. In fact I enjoyed having personal conversations with my roommates, classmates, and friends these past few days more entertaining then clicking through a bunch of websites and texts. This social media connection is so impersonal that it’s allowed me to reflect that more personal relationships need to be built up to help resensitize our desensitized generation. Reflection upon this has made me realized how disconnected I have grown from people but how college, especially here at Loyola, allows you to connect through different clubs, activities, and living arrangements. Here at school you are constantly encouraged to go out of your comfort zone to find something that catches your interest. I have been accustomed to blame myself for my incessant need for technology on the fact that I am a millennial however through this analysis I realize that it lies on me to decide if I am willing to disconnect to connect. 

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