I have been thinking back on my childhood a lot recently. There are so many things I miss about those times in my life. One thing I never seemed to realize is just how sociable I was. I had a good number of friends and we saw each other every day at school. Then we would always be on the phone or using instant messenger when we weren’t together.
Compared to my day to day life now, it seems like those must be the memories of someone else. Unless I am working, I don’t usually talk to anyone at all. Maybe a stray text here and there. But it has been years since I’ve had regular phone calls with anyone besides my mom. And now even those have become few and far between.
I often find myself missing the days of AIM (instant messenger). It seems simpler to me than texting is now. One of the amazing benefits of texting is that you can text anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, for me at least, that is also a huge problem. I am always preoccupied with the idea that I am bothering people. With AIM you knew who wanted to talk because they were online. If they were busy or unavailable they would put up their “away message”. This way I never felt like I was bothering anyone on there. Or be distracted and trying to respond to people all day. Not to mention a lot better conversations can be had when you’re able to type out a response rather than peck for letters with your thumbs.
I keep coming back to the idea that maybe I should just start scheduling time each week to talk to the people I care about. I think it would be greatly beneficial to me. The only two things keeping me from doing so have been the fear of not being in the mindset of wanting to talk to anyone once the preset time arrives and the embarrassment of discussing this social schedule with the people I want to talk to.
I doubt they would care. They may even be excited about the idea. But still, I feel like a fool for having to schedule phone calls with loved ones if I want to manage to stay in contact with them at all. The anxiety part seems inevitable. I am going to want to back out. I am going to feel too anxious. But I need to push past that discomfort anyway. In some ways having a pre-agreed-upon time helps me keep myself from just avoiding the idea all together. I could even plan to have these calls during the half-hour drive home from work everyday. That way I wouldn’t feel as though I’m “wasting time” I should be using to do other things.
I think that planning my social interactions ahead of time would definitely be a huge help to me. The increased time spent talking to others would benefit my mental health as well as allow me to have deep meaningful connections with others again. Now the only hurdle I have to face is committing to make space for these things.
Please let me know what you think of this idea. Is it really as strange as I’m imagining it to be? Would you ever try something like this? Have you tried this already? Has it been helpful? I would love to get some feedback and hear some other perspectives on this idea, as well as how the changes in communication due to technology over the years have effected you.