11 June 2012

I Luvvvv U

Having watched That 70s Show on several occasions, I always kind of figured Ashton Kutcher was just like the dumb character he played. When I think ill of someone, I am almost always proved wrong - and in this instance, it wasn't just realizing I was wrong, but being knocked over by how incredibly judgmental I can be, and how gallant and eloquent Ashton Kutcher really is.
The first thing that surprised and impressed me about Ashton was his involvement in anti-trafficking.
The second is this long quote (I found it here via Modern Hepburn).

I was shooting a scene in my new film, No Strings Attached, in which I say to Natalie Portman,
“If you miss me. you can’t text, you can’t email, you can’t post it on my Facebook wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me.”
I began to think of all of the billions of intimate exchanges sent daily via fingers and screens, bouncing between satellites and servers. With all this texting, emailing, and social networking, I started wondering, are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?
It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. “Hello?” Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then.
Now we exchange numbers but text instead of calling because it mitigates the risks of early failure and eliminates those deafening moments of silence. Now anticipation builds. Bdoop. “It was NICE meeting u” Both sides overanalyze every word. We talk to a friend, an impromptu Cyrano: “He wrote nice in all caps. What does that mean? What do I write back?” Then we write a response and delete it 10 times before sending a message that will appear 2 care, but not 2 much. If all goes well, a date will be arranged.
Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what’s it really good for?
There is some argument about who actually invented text messaging, but I think it’s safe to say it was a man. Multiple studies have shown that the average man uses about half as many words per day as women, thus text messaging. It eliminates hellos and goodbyes and cuts right to the chase. Now, if that’s not male behavior, I don’t know what is. It’s also great for passing notes. there is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover’s car.
Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. in some ways, it’s no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn’t like to be publicly adored. Just remember that what you post is out there and there’s some stuff you can’t un-see. But the reality is that we communicate with every part of our being, and there are times when we must use it all. When someone needs us, he or she needs all of us. There’s no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.
We haven’t lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a hand-written letter is greater than ever. It’s personal and deliberate means more than an email or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it’s flawed There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say,
“This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more importantly, all that I am not.
- Ashton Kutcher 
Read the official article here.

I so wish more people thought this way. Things like this really make me want to get rid of my Facebook and get rid of...everything...and live a simpler life. There are two things that are stopping me, though. The first is, I'm not sure it's very practical to get rid of Facebook and whatever else, given the world we live in. While ignoring it could give me the potential for more fulfilling relationships and a more fulfilling life in general, I could be missing out on so much convenience that could make things more difficult in the long run (particularly if everyone else is still using these tools to their advantage and I'm trying to do things the "hard way").
The second is, I am an introvert and I currently live far away from most of my friends, and I would be scared that, if I didn't keep up with people via Facebook, emails, and texts, I would never hear from anyone. On the other side, though, there's a certain impersonal-ness to conversing mainly through Facebook, instnat messaging, emails, and texts - you can "know" everything about a person without knowing them at all.

What do y'all think?



Sally said...

I agree! Sometimes I'm so tempted to "cut off" the internet, get back to a simpler lifestyle - but it's like you say, if everyone else is living online, what purpose will that serve?

I think my answer to the conundrum will be trying to find balance, still communicating online but also taking time to back away from the computer :)

earlynovemberlove said...

I had no idea you were an introvert. Hmmm maybe we should talk in person instead of on facebook so I can get to know the real you ;) (No, but really, you're an introvert?)

Scout said...

Andrea - I'm an introvert in the sense that people exhaust me, and if I don't have time to myself, I might murder someone.
But that doesn't mean I don't love to be around people, because I totally do - there just needs to be a balance, so nobody gets hurt ;)

Sally - I'm going to work on finding that balance - starting with more reading and writing to keep me occupied :)

whalecliff said...

Even extroverts experience the need to not be around people to recuperate. So yeah you will have introverted tendencies as well as extrovert tendencies. Everyone does. This video explaines it quite well even though it is about INTP; it still covers lots of general ground about exroverts vs. introverts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnZE8bNbLZU&list=UUWWwQlDFnYbX_dgDP8lJ09A&index=1&feature=plcp Personally I would guess you're an extrovert. But hey what do I know?

whalecliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
whalecliff said...

I meant to comment on the rest of your post as well. I really like what Ashton has to say. I personally like writing letters to people and exchanging that with people or actually calling versus texting because it is more personal. Texting and facebooking lacks so much of the nonverbal communication that chatting in person has. Even talking on the phone lacks this to a degree, but hesitations or inflection in the voice add another depth that texting cannot equal despite an abundant use of smiley faces, exclamations, or capitalization.

I think that giving up facebook for a period of time is a good thing, but you have a unique situation so it might not be practical. On the other hand maybe doing it the hard way is worthwhile. You can take the time to write letters or give people phone calls. Since you don't have a facebook they would be forced to respond in like manner if they are willing to take the time to do so. Obviously there a lot of pros and cons to each.

I really resonate with "[b]ut, most important, it’s flawed There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say,
'This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more importantly, all that I am not.'
- Ashton Kutcher
I think that people often times are too unwilling to risk responding in full or even in a form that they are unused to because they might look stupid. Personally I have never cared about the eloquence of someone's response because there is a depth and sincerity that cannot be faked in written letter or face to face between those who are close to each other. Eloquence is like a light dusting of powdered sugar on an already sweet treat. It's nice, but it accounts for so little of the real flavor that I hardly notice it when it's not there. Anyways, it will be interesting to see what you do with everything, especially since you recently got a twitter. Hope all is going well!

Scout said...

Hey, thanks for your thoughts, guys! I really love hearing them :)