It sounds silly and it also may sound naive to most of you, but I have only recently realised this. I have realised how self-obsessed we are as a nation. I don’t mean with the way we look, (which I did actually notice a while back), but our self obsession tendencies have gone up a whole new level.
Technology does not help this. We have 140 characters on Twitter to inform our followers what we have done today, or with our thoughts, and even our feelings. We hashtag to death to try and fit in more information, because God forbid if we do not emphasis on how bad our day was #craptastic.
Even Facebook has it down to a tee; “What’s on your mind?” or “How are you feeling today, Janie?” in the status update box. “Well, because you asked, I am…”
I admit, I abuse Twitter. I happily tell people how I am feeling, how my day is going, what I am looking forward to, my plans etc and so forth. I think Twitter is probably the only place you can get away with this, mostly because everyone else does the same.
But, this isn’t the end of my realisation; oh no. It has gotten worse.
One of my closest friends and I were just chit chatting over our phones. I realised (and felt guilty) that she has initiated our conversation a couple of times. I felt like I needed to start one before she realises it too and we end up in a silence war. Also, I did need someone to talk to about something sad that just happened in my life. That wasn’t my main reason for the talk mind, but I thought we would eventually get round to it and I can talk to her about it, as she is pretty good with these kind of ordeals. I said Hi, she said Hey, and about fifteen minutes later, I decided to stop the conversation. Why? Because the whole conversation was about her. I know she didn’t know about what I was going through at the time, she is not a psychic. But I just thought that normal conversation etiquette included both involved.
You see, I started with a How are you?? What have you been up to lately? The norm. All I got back was sure, her answer, but what was missing? Three simple letters and one piece of punctuation – “you?”
Yes… “you?” There was no intention on even asking me how I was, or what have I been up to lately. Most people say what they need to say, and then include a “you?” at the end to turn the conversation around. I ignored it to begin with and asked her another question, to show that I still want to talk, but hopefully she would realise that actually, it is a very one-sided conversation. So I did, and I was disappointed that again, I did not get asked how I was.
Sure, you might read this and think I am just as bad because I really wanted to talk about my current loss. Of course I did. But I was and still am genuinely interested in what is going on in her life. I was just disappointed and actually gutted that she didn’t ask me just the simplest of questions. I left that conversation feeling she was being very “me me me” and because I then held a bit of a grudge, all her Tweets and Facebook posts made me instantly annoyed and realised how self obsessed she was.
But I cannot stay angry, even though to this day I still haven’t heard from her, because I realised that everyone, one time or another becomes self obsessed. The funny thing we do though, is the fact it isn’t always positive things we love to talk about, we like to talk about and share the negatives that happen in our lives. It is good to obviously think about yourself and it is always interesting to see what others are up to. Obviously, when we have conversations, you do talk about yourself, but it does not hurt taking an interest and influencing the other person to talk and share too. I am going to blame technology and social networking sites for making us turn into one-sided robots, because I can. But I think my moral is, just always, always make sure you don’t leave a conversation, a meal, a night out, without knowing at least what you friend has been up to. Otherwise, you could end up being in your favourite company for a lot longer than you would like; yours.