Disconnected Connections

When a man smiles at me, I want it to be genuine. I want to feel the warmth and kindness that smiles were meant to hold.  I want to know that I matter – as a person – to another person.

Why, then, is it so often untrue? Illegitimate? A cardboard cutout of a smile, pasted on to lure a woman away from her virtue and self-respect? A silly fluff of a thing thrown out in advance of full eye contact to avoid further repartee? A mask attached with epoxy to permanently hide any of the real emotion flowing on one’s true visage?

What has happened to human interaction now that tech “facilitates?” Who are we anymore and how to we get back to being the humans we once were?

I miss those days.

I am not young, but neither am I so old that I stand alone in this feeling of stark impersonality.


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About ExaltedPeacock

Finding cool new things each day to love about me & those around me. Everyone is peacock beautiful. Celebrate it!

3 responses to “Disconnected Connections”

  1. Matthew Byrd says :

    Why would you believe a smile to be untrue or illegitimate? It’s an indication that someone appreciates your existence, or just your proximity to them. “Thanks for participating in my life at this moment”. It may be the most honest thing you’ll get from another person, at least in the “real” world. The ultimate instant-feedback.

    But pasting-on the virtual smile is certainly a lot easier than exposing a frown…or forcing yourself to look into the reasons behind it. Or worse still, pushing someone else into that pit before you look there, yourself.

    The problem with tech is that it has taken away the time for real thought and reflection. It turns interaction with others into the equivalent of an appetizer and drinks, without a real entree available at the restaurant. The instant gratification of the snarky quip vs. the thought-out, measured response of a letter that costs time, thought, and $0.49 to mail.

    The computer revolution has enabled millions of people to be very shallow to each other, with zero encouragement to delve beneath that surface. But that doesn’t make the smile itself artificial.

    • ExaltedPeacock says :

      Thank you, Matthew, for commenting. 🙂
      Let me start by saying that you make a wonderful point about generalizing all smiles as illegitimate.
      I wasn’t actually writing about cordial smiles, smiles from strangers given in passing, smiles flashed as an acknowledgement of another human being – I like those smiles – they feel real and immediately soften initial interaction.
      But those aren’t always the smiles we pass to one another through tech. I find that online, people initially interact cordially (or maybe even vapidly) for a message or two, but then they move to their more authentic intent and, so often in the world of anonymity that is the web, people are less humane than in face-to-face interaction. In fact, often people reduce their interactions from that initial cordial smile to cruelty or vulgarity. They raze the spirit of others, clawing and ripping mercilessly. Or they make propositions that wouldn’t be acceptable after a a few dates, never mind after four or five conversational exchanges. Places like Reddit, Buzzfeed, any number of online dating sites, YouTube, and so on – these places encourage interaction – no matter what flavor it is. And people, under the cloak of anonymity or the knowledge that the recipient of their commentary will never actually be able to physically find them, drop to the basest, least attractive version of ourselves.
      I love what you said about people being shallow with one another. It’s as if online, even at our best, we are strolling along the smorgasbord and nibbling on one interaction or another without really tasting any of it, without even really seeing or thinking about what we’re doing in these interactions.
      Is the initial smile truly fake? Only its wearer really knows; but based on follow-on interaction, I can say that I often find myself pushing away from the table out of disgust or pain.
      …and that bruising is what prompted this blog post.
      I love that you commented and asked me to be more clear; you read my blog post and genuinely thought about it and replied. I had written something that was a vague cloud of the idea I wanted to convey – words intended to sort of capture the melancholic fog that settles down on me and makes my bones ache – yet I wasn’t exactly clear on what that fog is made of or why my bones hurt. I appreciate that even in commenting on my post, you made the counterpoint very effectively. You interacted genuinely, with clarity and thought, and without the vulgarity and ill-repute that I originally blogged on. The reply alone brought a smile – a genuine one – from deep inside me.
      I’d love your thoughts.

  2. ExaltedPeacock says :

    While Revenge porn isn’t the only disrespectful, hurtful thing happening to people on line, it is one of the most vile. It’s nice to see powerhouses like Google and Bing stepping up like this: http://www.upworthy.com/if-your-nude-photos-are-posted-online-without-your-permission-microsoft-and-google-want-to-know?c=ufb1

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