What can explain this growth of BLOGGING? Perhaps people are hungry for intimacy and connection. What has happened to real friendship?
Here are some of my thoughts:
- CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein used to seek each other out to debate. They had an incredible friendship and were not afraid of disagreement. In fact, they spent countless hours discussing things and become closer as friends. What happened to this?
- The idea of friendship is exemplified in David and Jonathan, yet they were NOT gay. Men need friends. Do they have them without being labeled homosexual?
- Women cannot be friends if they disagree. It seems to tear them apart. They take it personally. What happened to working things out? What about the Proverbs version of a friend. “A friend loves at all times.” (Prov 17:17)
- We don’t take the time to nurture a friendship and especially after a disagreement. Now it is too easy to walk away because the time was not built on the onset. Back in time, people spent time together. They had to work it out because they had nowhere else to go. Sitting around the table, discussing, disagreeing, debating, sharing..this was all part of daily life. Now, we have email to help us run from confrontation. We have voicemail and cell phones to screen calls and avoid talking to the person. We have little need to have a conversation because we have so many electronic devices to keep our mind occupied. We also have no direct contact with people in places of business also. Hence, how can one ever LEARN to healthily debate, let alone have a CONVERSATION?
- Also, people need people. We don’t really do much conversing now, and so therefore look at the mental health of the society. It is filled with anger problems, depression, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders… I think all this stems from a lack of intimacy with people: Friendships.
- If people get too close who are the same sex, they become fearful. What does it mean to have a TRUE FRIEND? Is there confrontation, accountability, challenge, and disagreements involved? This needs to occur and be worked out. It is what truly brings people closer.
- Joseph McCarthy attacked people because if they did not agree with all of AMERICAN ways, they were therefore a “Communist.” Edward R. Murrow suggested that discord and disagreement does not mean DISOWNERSHIP. This healthy debate led to the freedoms we have today. Why don’t we treat friendship the same way?
- In terms of same sex: Friendship has to occur before any kind of intimacy can. How can two people create a bond if they don’t allow challenge? Conflict resolution is vital to a friendship, or it is not such.
- Our society has an overabundance of electronic stimulation: Everywhere we go we are bombarded by screens or noise. If there is silence, there is a discomfort. Kids say, “I am bored,” because they have nothing to entertain them. What happened to good ol’ fashion conversation? Or perhaps reading a book? An intimate friendship or stimulating discussion soothes the soul and sates the fear of isolation. People don’t even know they are hurting anymore. Unfortunately, what I am witnessing is children growing up relating to screens and video people. They have no “give and take” exchanges. Communication needs to be developed. It does not come naturally. It is a TWO-WAY street: Listening and responding properly.
- Studies have been done and have shown that people get more out of reading a book than working on “worksheets.” What does this say about interaction with stories and lives? This says that people are yearning for connection/relationship.
- “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion” People are yearning to be in relationship. Why should they follow the pack and be “obedient” if they have no motive to do so. A sense of morality is missing because LOVE is not exemplified in our daily lives. As an educator, I strive to relate to each student and exhibit LOVE, be it tough or graceful. IF this is not my philosophy, nothing else I do will be heard or learned and what good is it?
- Thomas Friedman wrote in THE WORLD IS FLAT: “People are wired to want to connect with other people and they find it objectionable not to be able to do so. That is what Netscape unlocked.” (p. 63) Flattening is occurring because of there is a hunger for RELATIONSHIPS and DEEP NEEDS FOR CONNECTION.
- Teachers may be the only ones left who can provide a role model for learning to communicate and develop friendships. I strive to interact with each student as a human being. This means LISTENING to them and responding. Cooperative Learning in the classroom also teaches them these skills. Conflicts arise, but they must deal with them because they are to work with the same team throughout the quarter.