Connected, but alone?

briannas pictureBy Brianna Kreditor, Counselor at GFC. Brianna won second prize in our staff essay contest 

The beginning of this Ted Talk begins with Sherrie talking about how her daughter had text her to wish her good luck by saying “ Mom, you will rock”, she compared the text to getting a hug. A simple short text meant more than just the words written in it. This Ted Talk connected to me because after going through such a rough time this past year with losing my mom, getting little texts or phone calls saying that I’m strong meant the world to me even though it was just two simple words; but while being at camp hearing those words face to face from my friends meant even more.

In this Ted Talk, Sherrie talks about how we, as humans, expect so much out of technology because of how accessible it is to us. She also talks about how much we rely on technology because it is so easy to pick up our phone and send a text message rather then calling or talking face to face with that person. One big point in this Ted Talk was when she mentioned how everyone who has a phone, texts at terrible times, like at a funeral. Something that people should be giving their undivided attention to, we don’t think it is a ‘big deal’ to send a quick text or email to someone. People would rather send a text so that they do not bother someone.

While kids and adults are so dependent on their phones with texting, we as children still complain about how we do not get that one on one time with our parents or friends and will even send them a text while still being in the same house or even in the same room because of how easy it is rather than simply talking. A quote in the talk was by an 18 year old boy who said “…someday, someday, but certainly not now, I would like to learn how to have a conversation…” People don’t like having a conversation because you cannot rethink what you’re going to say. With texting, emailing, or posting it allows you to edit it or delete and control the voice or tone in the message you’re sending. When we choose not have a face-to-face conversation with a person we lose that connection that is sometimes needed.

My main reason for connecting to this Ted Talk is because after losing my mother last summer while I was at camp, my friends at home contacted me giving me their sympathy and telling me how they were there for me. But, most of the people who got in touch with me were doing so through texting, one of the least personal ways to talk to someone. As nice and thoughtful as it was for all those people to let me know they were there for me, I wanted more than that. I wanted to hear my friends voice and see them being there for me and proving it. While being at camp, I got all of that and so much more. I received all of the Avodah, staff and adults’ sympathy and love. They showed that they were truly there for me, they asked what they could do to help with the pain and if they could do anything at all to make it a little less terrible.

With technology improving every single day, we are losing that important connection and conversation that is only hurting us as people. Children have gotten dependent on technology that it makes them not ready to have that face-to-face conversation that they’ll need to know how to do in the work field and in everyday life. “We expect more from technology and less from each other,” with twitter, Facebook, and other social media websites it allows us to say anything on our mind and it allows us to be able to vent our thoughts on them, which gives us that emotional connection almost like a friendship. With that emotional connection we type before we think. While being at camp and not having that easy access to our phones or Internet, it enables and almost forces us to have that face-to-face conversation giving us that emotional connection with those people. I think that is what makes camp so different and special, we connect with people so fast and easily because we do not have technology distracting us or allowing us to take the ‘easy way’ out of just texting that person instead of having a conversation in person. Camp is also one of those few special places that will allow you to be yourself with no judgment, which is why I believe that it is a perfect place to start that first conversation with somebody and create an amazing friendship and emotional connection.

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