Have you ever been unfriended on Facebook? You probably have, but did even know it. I have unfriended people myself, and it was because of what I believed to be a good reason. But…when it happens to you, you are devastated.

What happened to communication? We don’t talk to each other anymore. Even baby boomers are subject to this, because we have had to learn to live in the world of technological advances that we did not cut our teeth on. We often hear of young people who walk and text and do not ever look up, or even text to someone right across the room. I have actually witnessed this.

Some years back, I was a charter member of a rotary club that decided they were going to be a charter rotary online club. It was the new way, so I came on board so that I could be a part of the new – the future. It did not take long for me to opt out – every other email was from one of those members writing something and expecting a reply, or at least for you to look at it. There were so many emails it clogged up my email system. OMG! It, to a baby boomer, at least, was overwhelming.

I needed face-to-face contact; interaction of looking into someone’s eyes, especially since the eyes are the windows to the soul. I needed to read their body language – that is one of the ways we baby boomers learned to communicate. We met and socialized. In fact, eating out or going to a coffee house was how we bonded.

Today it is mostly fast food, or eating-on-the-run, thus you do not often meet and use eating out as a social activity. In fact, families are on the go and no longer sit at a table together and eat, let alone communicate. The dinner table was where we found out what each family member was doing. We broke bread together and I think one from my generation could actually say, the family that breaks bread together, stays together…and cares about each other – which leads to caring about others.

People are inside their heads today and do not talk…they text or comment or like on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Experts say we are raising a generation of people who do not know how to communicate.

I learned while working with the drug coalition that we had to have a grant in order to get kids to volunteer – my generation learned from our parents to volunteer – it was never really said to do it, but since children live what they learn, we learned it and did it without thinking – because it was illustrated.

Today kids are taught how to balance a checkbook, learn parenting from classes, etc. We saw our parents do it and just did what we saw them do. Nobody really gave us an in-service or tutorial in a class or one-on-one. It was by watching and listening in person.
We also did our homework and did not have our parents help us…that is why we went to school – so the teachers could teach us. If I asked my Father how to do my homework, he would look at me and say, go back to the front of your book – you obviously missed the basics. So, I did, and he was right. He didn’t do it for me; therefore, I learned.
When I wanted to know how to spell something – no computers, St. Google or spell-check – I went to the dictionary, the encyclopedia or the book of knowledge or book of popular science – which we had at home – or went to the library to get a book on whatever I wanted to know. Making the effort to look it up made me remember it.

There are stats out there today that validate that went we look something up ourselves, or write it down, we remember it better. Many are using neurolinguistic programming without even knowing they are doing it. Today, however, there are classes on that, too.
Oh, we do love nostalgia, looking back and talking about the Good Ole Days, but they sure do seem to have been just that to any of us because we learned – we graduated and have heavily contributed to society as a whole. This does not mean that we did everything right – the younger generation does not seem to want to get married these days – we obviously set a bad example in this category and I am sure others, but we did talk to each other; socialized in person and though rebellion happened in the 60’s, most of us baby boomers learned how to work though the system to get things accomplished.

Communication is listening and talking.

We even have new things added to the dictionary that have been coined by individuals- personal names are no longer standard but made up. I do not know if that is good or bad but I do know that we cannot predict how to spell many of today’s names because the origin of the names are not based on what most of us are familiar with. And, when you mispronounce a name today or misspell it because you have never heard of it, or you spell it like it is pronounced, the person is outraged that you made that faux pas. How could we know? Besides, if you just see their name on the social media sites and never actually talk to them to hear their name pronounced, again, you are connecting only in the current fashion of today.

I always want to learn and to keep up with the times, but some of these things seem that we are regressing rather than moving forward. I do not know the answer, but I do know that like they teach you in law school, there is your side, my side and truth somewhere in the middle. There must be a middle ground here for all of us to benefit from the old and the new. We want the world to get better, not regress.

The conflict in the world today cannot be resolved if we do not communicate.
So, back to being unfriended on Facebook. I was devastated that the person who unfriended me would do such a thing without at least talking to me first. I know it is uncomfortable to broach certain things with people, but it heals the world.

When people quit talking to one another or feel bad about that person, they must not know that it actually makes a negative ripple in The Universe. It hurts us, not them. For-give is not for them…it is for you, just as understanding is for you. We are all connected. That is not New Age mumbo-jumbo.

In the Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, there is a quote that depicts that truth, There are no random acts…We are all connected…You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind…

I BELIEVE that we should do like my Daddy always told me when I asked him to help me with my homework, Go back to the front of the book; you obviously missed the basics if you do not know how to do it.

Okay. Communication 101: Talk, Listen, Comprise if necessary, and resolve.
Now – the world is a better place, because we can live the Golden Rule, which we do not repeat enough: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Now that I KNOW that I have been unfriended on Facebook, and I know how it made me feel, I will think better about how to resolve things with a person than to just unfriend them and say nothing to repair the ripple in the Universe.

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