Ironic, that today is the 13th of August, as I celebrated my 13th year at the Georgia Post this week. What a ride it’s been!
There have been days when computers and internet were issues and we pulled all nighters. Now, when there’s an election we sometimes still do 16 but thank the good Lord, those days are few and far between.
UGA certainly didn’t prepare me for how things would really be with a journalism career. While I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, things have certainly changed during the last 40 years.
Technology has made things a lot easier and cut down on amount of time spent in layout. Dealing with the people has definitely become more challenging. I’d like to go back to the days when people were respectful no matter what the circumstances.
It contnues to be a challenge trying to get news out in a timely manner because before you can even get back to the office, it has been posted all over social media. Sometimes before anything has really been verified. Unfortunately, these days people don’t care so much about the truth or that what was posted was not the total truth.
The discussion pages make me want to throw up. Sometimes you get information or a heads up but for the most part it is a platform where people can complain about everything and don’t take the time to research or call the entity before they post a complaint. They post about wrecks and believe you me, that is not how a family wants to find out if it their loved ones.
Social media allows us to not consider others when we post things. Oh, I’m up for a good debate, but debating is also a lost art as people become hateful when your opinion differs from theres.
Communication, in its purest form, is becoming a lost way of life. People only listen to respond and don’t really listen to what is being said in the first place. That is not communication.
While some may say we are more connected with phones, social media, etc. it actually makes you more isolated when you don’t know how to carry on a conversation. Posts and texts widen the gulf between personal feelings and what’s being said and loses the subtle nuance of body language. It’s kind of like a sanitized sound bite which is not reality. Yes our devices may be less complicated than people but they certainly are less rewarding than human interaction.
We are so into the cell phones and aps these days that we aren’t even aware of the opportunities that present itself to have impromptu conversations with the people we encounter.
In fact, case studies suggest children’s social abilities decline as they choose virtual contact over face-to-face interaction. One study found conversation between adults and children ages four to six, changes the way the brain forms and is critical to language development.
I mean really; when was the last time you had an actual really good conversation in person about something meaningful?
We can blame social media but in reality we have only our self to blame. Of course, the recent separation with the china flu, has made things even worse. We as humans, are meant for relationship. So being separated and not able to hug, affects our mental and emotional state. You can think whatever you like about it, but it’s not right and not being able to spent time with loved ones in nursing homes or hospitals is abuse to me, even more so when they don’t truly understand what’s going on.
Diminished social contact leads to a negative impact on mental health and this in turn results in depression.
Yes, real conversation takes time and we seem to be too busy to stop and actually talk. One of the most important things you can give someone is your attention and we need to try doing that more often and spent less time with technology.
While it is becoming a lost art, when you start putting the phones down, your social skills return quickly. We need to start asking questions and trying to get to know people better than just what we think we know because of social media posts. Sometimes we think we are so busy communicating, but in reality we are communicating through messages that can be edited and changed at the expense of having a real conversation with a person you can see and touch.
Such communication is superficial and makes us much like Siri and Alexa, which is devoid of any experience of human life. The road we are headed down also lets us expect more from technology and less from each other.
While I try to change with the times in my journalistic life, I am also trying to hold on to the human aspect of interaction with others. And there are many I’ve grown to know and love here over these last 13 years. Thank you all.
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org