I would wake up on a bright, sunny morning, get dressed, eat breakfast in front of Saturday morning cartoons, and then hop on my bike not to return home until it got dark. My friends and I would find a plethora of activities to do keeping us busy throughout the day.
Such is not the case now.
My son had a couple friends spend the night. I watched as each of them sat close together on the couch, yet not one of them spoke to the others. They sat staring blankly at their iPhones. This continued throughout the night. I had to take the phones away.
How was it that three friends could be in the same room, yet not one of them was really there? Instead they were in their own little worlds, not much bigger than the phone that illuminated their faces in the darkness. This is how they spend their time together.
I don't think I'm old fashioned in my thinking that face-to-face communication is so important in social development, yet with social media and texting, it's been lost in translation.
Ironically, social media is making us less social. In this age of technology, we are more connected, yet more disconnected than we ever were.
Only seven per cent of communication is built on written word. SEVEN per cent. That means that text you just received, is missing 93 per cent of its meaning. Communication is best expressed when we can hear the tone of a voice, look into someone's eyes and observe body language.
When we peel away that 93 per cent, we are now attempting to build relationships and make decisions based on abbreviations and emoticons which may or may not be accurate depictions of the truth.
When I was in Grade 3, I would put a smile under two exclamation points, and now these little smiley faces plague documentation, social media and texting, no matter what age, gender or education level achieved. It's almost as if we are reverting back to the preliterate traditions of the Egyptian Hieroglyph.
I am not fluent in "Bingo" speech either. B4 I C U L8R (. What? When did numbers become part of the alphabet? I get the idea. I just don't buy in.
Some may argue that incorporating emoticons into a document or a text magically gives it a more human feel.
"All of a sudden, they're not reading a piece of literature, they're listening to a human being," Blogger Gregory Clott wrote.
Sure, emoticons are supposed to relay how a person is feeling. But with this social disconnect, are the emotions behind the message superficial or authentic? The phrase "I'm fine (" may not always be so.
For relationships, business or personal, to be genuine, all parties involved must not allow this form of communication to replace human contact all together.