Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interpersonal Relationships

During the 90's people started using gaming systems, cell phones, and computers so much more, and actually doing so much less. During this time we have created little robots without the skills needed to develop strong interpersonal relationships.
Let’s take a typical day when I was a teenager. I would go to school, then come home and do my homework. Once that was completed I would play my Game Boy, watch TV, talk on the phone or instant message. When I needed my mom, I would IM her.
The availability of electronics discouraged us from forming a relationship with another person. If I wanted to talk to a friend I would IM, text or even pass a note in class. If I wanted to play a game, I would get my Game Boy or go online and play. I would play against myself or a computer generated player. This is when we started to lose our interpersonal skills. Instead of riding a bike with Bobby or taking a walk with Suzie; we had our computer. I believe that was the turning point for most people. Looking back, I think we took for granted how many life lessons were learned by playing with Bobby and Suzie.

We learned how to communicate and navigate through positive and negative emotions and experiences and not hid behind the fa├žade of our cell phones. If something happened between you and your friend you would tell him, “hey you hurt my feelings” and together you would work it out. Now we are able to disguise our feelings or even just ignore them. We have become hard, unemotional beings unable to handle our feelings. When we do feel something we tend to shy away from the feeling because we are unfamiliar with it or just embarrassed with what we feel.
We as a population in my opinion are emotionally stunted. When we have a friend that is able to recognize their emotions and act on them, they are coined “sensitive”. I think the negative connotation behind calling someone” sensitive” is from an unemotional person’s jealousy.
I have a really hard time talking to my mom partially because she cannot keep anything to herself. I would say the rest is because I plum don’t want to do it. During the most crucial time of my teenage years when I should have been figuring how to communicate with others, I sat in my room and my Mom in hers and we would IM. Now when things have come up in my adulthood that I need to talk to my Mom about, I experience stress and anxiety. It feels natural to discuss important life altering discussions over IM, however I know better. It’s a major ordeal every time. Maybe if we spent more interpersonal one on one time when I was younger, I would be better at this today.

Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. ~Leo Buscaglia

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