An old entry that I slept on like 250 times…
I have a confession: technology does not bring out the best in me. That may seem like a big DUH given the nature of this blog, but I guess what I mean is that even when I limit my access, I don’t exercise enough self control. It’s like the saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
This was brought into sharp focus recently when a series of texts, their timing, and content threw me into a world of doubt about myself and the textee. It happened over about a 24 hour period, maybe 10 texts in all (including replies) but what was said and not said altered my perception of the relationship entirely.
When all was said and done, I realized that the technological tools and access to one another (and lack of it) was facilitating an exchange that was not helpful or healthy. Ten years ago, before I had a cell phone, I would have slept on it at least twice before saying anything. In that time, I would have gotten a little perspective and the conflict would have seemed far less important. Even then, though, I remember the new phenomenon of saying things in professional email that I would never have said face to face. Perhaps it says more about me than it does about technology.
Oftentimes, following and ill-advised texting or email bender, I feel like “where the fuck did that come from?” I know better, but I must get something out of it. When I’m in my most honest moments, I have to admit that it’s my core desire to be liked and to see myself as likable that sends me on these tech binges. Usually, there’s some sort of cliffhanger involved. It’s 5 o’clock or Friday and I think someone is mad or misunderstands me and I get obsessed with showing them otherwise. I want to fix it asap. When I find myself checking Facebook frequently or spending more than a minute or two on it, that’s a similar thing happening. It’s satisfying to see people liking or commenting on a post. And while that’s fun, it’s not all that healthy. But that’s a whole other blog entry.
So, for me, learning to enforce my technological boundaries starts with accepting my personal ones. Next time I find myself trying to effectively fix a relationship or my image of myself with a text message or an email or a status update, I think I’ll not.