Human interaction not dead for millennials

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It’s only noon and I’ve already started and stopped close to 50 tasks.

Some of them I’ve finished, but most are a work in progress.

In less than four hours of work, I have listened to a dozen different artists, read over 20 articles online, made four phone calls, refreshed my email countless times, thought about my chores at home, made three to-do lists, stood up and went to the supply room (only to forget what it was I needed), chewed five pieces of gum and had the same conversation with three different people.

All of this was done while tapping my toes and writing a series of stories.

You’re probably thinking, “This guy must have ADD or something,” but that’s simply not the case.

I was examined by my doctor earlier this year, wondering where this rush, drive and push were all coming from and after a short discussion, he simply said, “That’s how people are nowadays. It’s society.”

That got me thinking.

We weren’t always this way.

I wasn’t always this way.

If you ask my parents, they’d tell you I was a relatively quiet kid who kept to himself.

But as with most ’90s kids, as I aged, culture got really fast: internet boomed, smart phones were invented, social media plagued conversations, people started “binge watching” TV shows, attention got shorter, in-person conversations started to fade away and life took a complete 180 degree turn toward technology.

As I matured, culture sped up tenfold.

Even dating today is the opposite of what it was 15 years ago.

Kids born in 2000 and after will rarely experience real life as we all knew it, and that kind of breaks my heart.

The ’90s kids are the last group of humans that were in touch with what was traditionally known as interaction: calling someone’s home phone, passing notes in class, apologizing in person, going to a concert and WATCHING IT, seeing a movie in silence, opening a hand-written letter, eating dinner with a group of people in absolute silence, with no interruptions.

But none of that is truly dead.

 My fellow peers and myself will continue to teach the younger generation (and eventually our own children) about those long-gone human interactions.

Just because they aren’t used every day doesn’t mean they can’t be practiced.

Fredericksburg does a good job with providing chances for those human interactions: whether it’s talking to your local shop owner, buying meat from the Farmer’s Market, having a conversation with an old friend in H-E-B or even waving at a friendly face as you drive by. 

Just because I’m a millennial doesn’t mean I don’t love human interaction Like many people who yearn for connectedness, I thrive off interaction.

Yes, I have a smartphone and get on at least one form of social media every day, but I don’t prefer it. I’d much rather have lunch with someone and engage in palpable conversations as the phone in my pocket goes crazy.

Let it buzz, don’t pick it up.

Phones will come and go. Your hashtags will be saved in some database somewhere that only a supercomputer will pay attention to.

But those real life conversations, those fleeting memories.

Those will forever be taken with you.