It has been a rough week for me, and it’s only Thursday. I got into a fight with a friend, my uncle passed away, and then at the viewing, I found out that someone went and blew up two bombs at the Boston marathon. I’m pretty sure this
week semester is trying to kill me.
However, something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the need for people to communicate. We live in this world where we’ve been told that we can hide behind a computer screen, and we can live our lives without actually leaving our houses. All of a sudden, everyone is “socially awkward”. Now, we do everything we can to avoid awkwardness.
We don’t say the important things because we’re afraid it will be awkward. I am sorry. Can you forgive me? I love you. You upset me. I was wrong. I was hurt. Instead, we swallow up our words, and we ignore the problem. We walk pass old friends on the street, but we are too proud and too unwilling to face the awkwardness of an apology or acknowledge that we are hurt to begin with.
Me and my friend, Keri, were best friends from the second grade till the seventh grade until we had a falling out. We stopped talking to each other, even though we lived in the same neighborhood and saw each other a lot, all because of some stupid drama in seventh grade.
Eventually, we started working at the same grocery store five years later, and being next to each other on register, we were forced to talk to each other. Slowly, we became friends again. It wasn’t until we started hanging out again, that I realized how stupid it was that we had let the awkwardness of acknowledging the fights and the drama that had pushed us apart, keep us apart.
The first time we talked, it was awkward, but sometimes in life, there is no avoiding awkwardness if you want to be happy. We can all live our lives behind a computer screen. We can avoid being uncomfortable. We can avoid rejection by never putting ourselves out there.
At my uncle’s viewing and funeral, certain family members were holding onto old grudges. Even though death is supposed to unite people, they were clinging to the old words of years ago. They have let the awkwardness of acknowledging the problem scare them into silence and because of this they will never be able to move on.
Life is a series of awkward moments. The internet, cellphones, and texting have made it so easy for us to avoid these moments, but we have to avoid the temptation. We have to say the things that are a little uncomfortable. We have to risk rejection. Otherwise, we aren’t living.
It’s easy to text a friend and say sorry for your loss, but it’s another thing to actually be there, to actually hug them and sit in the awkward, uncomfortable, and terrible moments of their tears. This is how we build relationships, and it can never really be simulated through a text message or a Facebook post.
Becky, my roommate, has been awesome these past few days. When I got back on campus, I saw she had left me a little note on our bathroom mirror.
Tell your friends and family you love them. Be there in person. Say what you need to say.
Is technology ruining our relationships?