How we see life is measured by the type of experiences we have and how often we have them. It’s hard to see life from someone else’s perspective if you’ve never even attempted to learn more about their experiences and had any to share on a relative level.
Throughout my life I’ve been fascinated by people. The way they look, how they talk, how they act, their joys and woes, for some strange reason its always intrigued me. I’ve always wanted to know as many people as possible. I spent my entire life watching them, first observing silently then engaging as soon as I felt comfortable enough to socialize. It took me a while to come out of my shell if you will in school, but before my sophomore year of high school was finished I had mastered the art of making friends. And I made a lot of them. By the end of my high school career I knew everyone, and had shared hundreds of experiences with many of them.
As I grew older I continued my trek of self-discovery through learning from others. Like most youths I let my friends influence much of my attitude and behavior but I never let them define who I was. At least no more than I’d say the average person. I had a definite knack for fitting in with almost any social group you can name, and regardless of socioeconomic background, I had a simple rule of not judging a single person. That’s where I felt much of my success thrived in regards to socialization. I mean I can be completely honest, its a definite plus having hundreds if not thousands of friends, acquaintances, hook-ups, connections, in every facet of life and profession. I think there’s an abundance of people who will never know what that’s like, and I find it somewhat tragic.
In modern day society we have grown to become more socially connected than we ever have. With all the social media online, we are connected to literally millions of people and can learn from many of them simply by reading what’s in the palm of our hand. This amazing innovative experience comes with both rewards and drawbacks. Its completely changed how we socialize, our lingo and our perception of each other individually and as a whole. Because of my endeavors in music and writing I consider it a requirement to be aware of the mindset of those out there whom I consider to potentially be my current or future audience. This in itself can again have its rewards and drawbacks as sometimes its a little overwhelming embracing the thoughts and emotions of so many people of both genders in various ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. But I take it as a learning experience.
While online communication has given us a new way to socialize, we all the sudden are seeing a shift in how people deal with one another on an emotional, professional, and social level. There are entire generations who have basically grown up online, and their every thought, emotion, and experience is shared with the world since childhood. And before they learned to share every waking moment online, they were socialized by their parents who shared their experiences for them in the form of Facebook and Instagram posts during family get togethers and vacations. Everything is a pattern, and nothing just occurs by accident. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that.
Unfortunately the digital age has brought an emotional disconnection that I see so visible every day via my twitter feed its almost frightening. Luckily, I didn’t grow up online. I saw it evolve from a spectator’s perspective, only using it in moderate occasions and never at the capacity that allowed it be a focal point in my social life in any way. I grew up getting to know people the “old fashioned” way. Funny how that’s how I refer to it now, but lets face it, thats what it is. I grew up befriending those face to face, and learning from them in each new experience with time spent together in person. Most thoughts and feelings were vocalized, and emotions were felt in the only way they can be, when that person is sitting right in front of you. Even speaking over the phone is important when emotionally connecting as those vibrations from your voice have a profound effect on you whether you realize it or not.
But with modern communication, that emotional connection is almost non-existent. Communication is empty now. Nobody can know how you truly feel from a text message or a tweet. You can’t truly understand conflict, pain, and struggle from reading words of another live human being no matter how well you’ve learned to empathize. And empathy in today’s age is lacking to a point I’m almost afraid to see how your average twelve year old will grow up seeing the world. Personally I believe its contributed to the problem of violence amongst the youth today. They lack empathy, and the ability to compassionately care for their fellow man as how could they? The majority of their relativity skills stem from simply reading half-witted phrases and cliches. None of it holds any real meaning to them, therefore people don’t matter.
As I’ve said, I see people all around me and since I was a child I’ve allowed them to teach me. I listen, I empathize, I relate, and I’ve always offered a sincere and honest perspective on every situation and conflict. It’s what helps me grow as a person. I see every experience with new people as a chance to learn more about how the world effects others and how they effect me. Through learning from people, I’ve learned more about myself than anything else. It’s what makes socialization today so difficult as our attention span has become almost non-existent and our ability to relate with one another without losing interest or becoming bored dwindles with every social setting.
I see complaints on social media all the time. Literally every 2 minutes somebody is spilling their heart about their relationships, how so many of their friends or acquaintances are fake or phony, and how the state of the world scares them to the point they don’t want to turn on the news anymore. Then I go out into the world and I see these blank faces that have little to no awareness of what’s around them; and no appreciation for the beauty of everything and everyone that is enabling their current experience in that moment in time. It worries me, but all I can do is what I’ve always done; learn from it all and hope eventually, they’ll come to understand how and why everything is as it is. And we’ll transition into the next phase of our evolution with a more keen sense of one another, as we’re all just… People.