Thursday, June 10, 2010

Something that's been bugging me....

"Oh, I don't have time for that. I'm too busy."

I can't even tell you how many times I've heard that over the last few weeks and it's been grating on my nerves. I know most people probably don't mean anything by it other than they are really busy, but I also don't think they realize how condescending it sounds. As if their time is more valuable than anyone else's, or that the things they're engaged in are somehow more worthwhile than your pursuits.

Guess what? We're ALL busy in different ways. Sure, I am a stay at home mom, but I'm still busy taking care of my son, taking care of the house, and taking care of my husband. I am our social director, appointment scheduler, personal shopper, etc. I am also the one that nurtures our connections to the world outside our immediate family - I talk to my in-laws several times a week, and make sure that cards and emails get sent out to the extended family on a regular basis. My job is 24/7, and I am in no way complaining - I am just pointing out that I'm busy too and what I do has value.

But sometimes when I mention facebook or email or some other social activity that takes place on line, it's viewed as less important than other people's activities. I know not everyone is as connected as I am, and that's fine. But it's driving me nuts to hear people say, "Oh, I don't have time for email or Facebook or whatever." I don't expect them to sit in front of their computer all day long, but whenever someone says that, what I'm really hearing is, "Communication is not important."

Email is not that hard. Type a sentence or two, hit send and you're all done. And I'm not even asking you to send an email out of the blue - I'd do a freaking jig if you'd just RESPOND TO A QUESTION I HAVE ASKED YOU. I don't expect immediate answers, but if you can't check your email and respond every few days (barring any extenuating circumstances like vacations or whatever), then maybe you shouldn't give out your email address. And yes, I know I can pick up the phone and call if it's that important, but I don't see the big deal about people responding to emails either.

I just had a discussion with someone who cancelled their facebook account, and while I understand the reasons for doing so, part of me was a little annoyed when this person said, "Oh, I don't have time for that, and if people want to get in touch with me, they know how to find me." First, I think it's a little self centered that people have to track YOU down if they want to have a relationship with you. And second, when I mentioned that thanks to Facebook, I've found some common ground with people I hadn't previously been all that close to, and developed some really nice friendships, it seemed as if that was immediately dismissed as unimportant. I'm sorry this person didn't have the same positive experiences I've had, but then again, I don't think she was trying very hard either.

Now before anyone gets on me about privacy and such, believe me, I know. Facebook isn't for everyone, and yes, it can be a time consuming pursuit. Anything online can be a time consuming pursuit, and some people are just uncomfortable with it. I understand that, but I do think that the "I'm too busy" excuse is just that - an excuse - most of the time. I think people are so conditioned to be busy, busy, busy all the time and make sure people know how busy they are that they don't stop to realize they have more free time than they know. It's always go, go, go, and yes, some of that is driven by technology and the ability to be "connected" 24/7. Some people want to disconnect, I get that. But I also think that maybe everyone's lives would be a little better if we turned that technology to our advantage and stopped to respond to an email or a facebook post and demonstrated we are interested in something other than our own lives.

End of rant.