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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

Can I Buy You a Drink?

We live in a world where most human interaction is done by email or interacting on Social Media, and even dating is instigated by swiping right or left. This wasn’t always so, developing the ability to interact with people was a skill developed over time and was not always easy. There is something special about a good in-person conversation, getting to know a person by their physical reaction, things like body language, or their facial expression when reacting to something. People need to be present and social to feel like they are engaged in life and are part of something. It is part of being human. There was a certain right of passage working the courage up to ask that special someone to a school dance, it took perfect timing, running it over in your head, hoping not to crash and burn. If you did fail, the walk of shame, hoping to come up with plan B and the brutal path of character building afterward was quick to follow. That process didn’t stop at school, it usually continued to the age of being able to go to the local bar or nightclub. The stakes became higher, with a lot more involved, but the process was similar. Make your way across a crowded club to that person you have had your eye on, with loud music and some liquid courage all with the intent to either ask the person to dance or if you can buy them a drink. We have all been on the character-building end of rejection if you have lived a little. The right answer was always great and made the night go better, but I always felt bad watching those brutal rejections which had the impact of watching a slow-motion car crash. You know the kind where the person should have had a mouthguard in and a helmet on before brutal impact because it was like a contact sport instead of conversation. The person would go in with their favorite cologne, lucky shirt and it became an exercise in brutality.

Although some times and situations could be tough when it comes to meeting people and striking up conversations, there is still such a warmth that comes when having an in-person conversation that goes right. In business getting to know a person’s body language and sitting face to face is crucial in my opinion. As a good parent, I always want to meet the parents of children my boys are hanging out with and make sure the situation is comfortable when my kids are at their place. If you are old enough, you can probably remember how nice it was to get a handwritten letter from a person you hadn’t heard from in a while. I think you can still do something very similar in a properly written email, and even quicker than sticking it in the mail. There was something pretty cool about getting a note stuffed in your locker by your high school boyfriend or girlfriend. These days,I think just sending a text message loses something. There is an important feeling lost in the personal translation of a text message, and things can easily be taken the wrong way. The message might not come across as sincere enough. If you are dating and trying to be heartfelt, I’m not sure a text message can completely capture it, because we associate them with quick and to the point. That is good in some situations, but some may need a little more.

Are you currently dating? What do you think about swiping left or right? I am glad I’m not part of the dating scene, but I can tell you there is something special about the real effort that goes into meeting someone in person, striking up a conversation, or even on the phone having to be engaged in what you are talking about. That being said, if you do most of the leg work on an app, you can maybe avoid the annoying person in the bar…

The other thing I wonder sometimes is, have we become so disengaged because of the ease of technology that we prefer texting over talking on the phone. I was just talking to my friend about how poor our kids are at engaging in a proper phone conversation but have no problem Facetiming. It’s a bit of a strange dynamic I find, that phone calls and in person conversations seem to be a bit of a struggle for some.

I stayed away from social media for a long while, and finally after years of friends and family trying to convince me to take part I jumped on Instagram. I always maintained that if I wanted to talk to someone I would call them or see them in person. After years of holding out, I was happy to discover the positive sides of it. I could catch up and see what family and friends were doing from all over, which in some cases may have taken me months or years in person. I met and talked to people from all over the world and got to witness a small part of their lives and share in some of the adventures they were on from afar. I have gotten a window seat to many unique lifestyles from all over the globe and felt like it was a little stay-at-home traveling. Some had similar interests and some completely different ones, but it has been fun to share with them and have them reciprocate.What do you think about in-person vs. social media and online? Do you like or hate technology? Would you prefer meeting someone organically or online? Are you one of those people that find it easier to meet people, keep in touch, and share because of things like Facebook or Instagram? Is the world better or worse with social media, email, and all the other ways of reaching out to people aided by technology?

There will always be something fantastic about the nerves you get when you are face to face with someone for the first time when it’s of importance. There is something very cool sitting by a campfire with friends talking and laughing. It is still hard for some people in a social setting and it’s easier to share on a social media platform. Technology used in a positive productive way can be special as well. So what’s better, in person or over some kind of medium? I decided that they both contribute some much-needed things and can complement each other. Both are used together to ensure we are doing the best we can to stay informed, socializing, meeting new people, learning and sharing is something that we all need. It’s okay to take a break from social media, just like it’s okay to text when you don’t feel like having a conversation. Everything is in moderation and hopefully getting happiness most of the time from however you are choosing to interact with the rest of us.

I will always take time to visit, call and go on some sort of in-person adventure, but you can always find one of my stories or post on Instagram and you can definitely find an updated Blog post on Thursdays and Sundays. Don’t be afraid to take a break from in-person or social and find some alone time. For tips on that check out my blog entitled,” Alone Is Not The Same As Being Lonely”. Get out there and explore the world, meet new people, and catch up with new friends in any capacity.

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