Monday, July 27, 2009

In Real Life is Real

Huddled around a computer, Joe introducing us to lolcats for the first time ever. 2007.

I already like this blog entry: dripping with irony. Maybe with a splash of hypocrisy.

It's high time to distinguish conversations and knowledge received "in real life" as opposed to all those textual relations, facebook flirts, and gchat chatters that we all too often take as being the same as "in real life".

I am not talking about people who have fake profiles or make up things online. That is another brand of crazy and I don't know those people.

Don't get me wrong; I love being plugged in and actually find it annoying/inconvenient when someone doesn't know how to chat online or can't text like a normal, sane person. Electronic communication is essential, not that hard to learn, and will profit you. I judge people who can not or will not adapt.

But, IMPORTANT NOTE: in real life is totally different than electronic communications. Learn the differences, accept the differences, act accordingly.

Online/texting is like a game of chess on speed (or worse yet, a checkers game, and sometimes just a game of Connect Four). The Sender sends info (in text, email, on a wall, etc) and then The Receiver gets to wait, plan out a response, edit knee jerk reactions, draft something, and THEN after all that happens, respond. Sometimes the responder even consults multiple human resources before proceeding (come on, you all do it; you show a friend the absurd text, you forward on an email for your BFF to look over, and facebook makes it real easy by allowing the sender to just post it publicly on your wall in the first place). Like a game of chess, it is competitive.You need to perfect your moves. You have the luxury of deciding what piece to play, what move to make, what words to say, what response to craft.

"In real life" is more like a makeout session. Both parties are engaged. There is no time to really strategize. It's a back and forth situation and it requires skill. You say things vocally as well as with your physical self. . In real life is more of an art form then anything. The faces I pull in real life say more then I could ever say with words. (Same with some faces I have while making out, haha). Think about the last time I was really happy, I probably didn't say anything to you, but you knew, you could see it in my eyes. It is uncut. It is real. And it is typically the whole picture.

Both forms of communication require a give/take. In real life both parties are continually actively involved, simultaneously. There are things about interpersonal communication that simply can not be qualified by verbage alone.

The bottom line is that in real life is far less safe. In real life is, well, real.

Scenario #1
Sally: "He said the L word to me yesterday... he said it, "I love you", finally! [squealing with joy]
Me: In real life? [Sally's face drops]
Sally : Well, he texted it to me it, he was all "yeah. lol. love you."
Me: Doesn't count [Some nice person like Mandy then has to pick up the pieces I left in my wake of devastating dose of reality and explain that it was just a typical salutation]

Scenario #2
Sally: He said the L word to me yesterday... he said it, "I love you", finally!"
Me: In real life? [Sally has a beaming smile]
Sally: [Shakes head in agreeance] Yep, we were joking around and I said something really funny/cute/charming and he was giggling and sighed and said "yeah" then paused and said "i love you". it was really sweet.
Me: Ah, tender

Same words, one in real life and one not. See?

Another quick example: (ripped from Real Life) Found out via facebook that a friend is no longer engaged. No further details. Assumptions galore.

Electronically, I say things I really mean and I say things I really don't mean. Electronically we get snippets of truths, quick and cheap info.

I urge you to just be aware. Ask the hard hitting question: In real life?

*You may or may not have noticed I didn't make any reference to twitter in this post. It is not that I am behind that times, it is just that I hate it with a passion of a thousand burning suns. Blog rant on twitter with tons of inappropriate vowel changes to the word "tweet" forthcoming.


Bethany said...

you are so smart mary. I loved this post. can't wait to see you in real life in october!

joejohn said...

admit it, lolcats changed your life.

Jessica Tingey said...

love this! you ARE so smart. :)

lysh said...

am i the only one who wants to know who this mystery un-engaged friend is? I hope its not someone i know .. ..and yes mary you are so smart ..but u already knew that ..

Millicent said...

Well said, my friend. Well said.

Michelle said...

But what about the famous real life quote: "when I said I love you I meant I love you not I'm IN love with you." And I am excited to agree with all of your ideas concerning twitter. It doesn't even deserve to be capitalized. So there.

Regarding lol cats, I could spend HOURS looking and laughing. Hurray for something to brighten my day.

Joni said...

Amen, Mary!

Hayley's Comment said...

I hate twitter too P.S. And I love this! I will start using the phrase "In real life" to confirm the truth.