The Vampire Effect

Social interaction is a basic need of the human psyche. It helps define our identities and is a critical building block of self-image and self-esteem.  We may hate to admit it, but how we see ourselves is coloured by how we think others see us. The looking-glass self can be blamed on evolution and the survival instinct to be protected by the group, but it still has real implications in today’s society – especially in a society that’s erected on Bluetooth and Skype.

We may ‘connect’ with more people and chat with people all over the world but we’re becoming vampires. We have conversations in under 140 characters and catch up over news feeds and comments. As society evolves devolves, people are losing the ability, maybe even the desire to interact in meaningful ways. Do we really know who are ‘friends’ are online. Do we ask? Do we have dialogues? Do we even respond to their messages or just ‘unsubscribe’ from them?

We’re becoming too insular. The more our worlds expand, the more closed off we are – and when we look into our proverbial mirrors, there’s no reflection staring back at us.

People are becoming invisible. 

We say we want friends, but maybe we just want an audience.

Ask a kid today what he wants to be when he grows up; he says ‘famous’. He wants to be heard and seen. He wants attention because our society is void of it.

I used to consider generosity in terms of material or monetary value. Now I tend to use the word to describe people generous in spirit – giving of their warmth and their heart, giving of their time, their compassion and their positivity. We don’t just look for our own reflections in others, we also give them theirs, and being a reflection is a big responsibility. As human beings we should shoulder that responsibility with grace and kindness.

The more I look at the troubles and strife in this world, the more I think the root cause of it is someone just wanting to be heard, to be noticed. Hidden underneath people’s anger, hostility and apathy, are people who feel invisible.

Respond to others. Step out and embrace them, physically or metaphorically. Give a compliment, be a shoulder to lean on. Smile at the person standing in line that looks tired. Comment back, ‘like’ a picture, give of yourself – and maybe in doing so, you can find your own reflection again, smiling back at you. 

14 thoughts on “The Vampire Effect

  1. Wise words and wonderful reminders about how to live a more wholesome life.

    I agree with you about generosity being more about giving freely of yourself rather than your “stuff.”

    My son once asked me if we were rich. Apparently some kids on his school bus thought the cars we drove were nice (or something) and called him a spoiled rich kid. I told him that, while we had enough money to take care of our needs and live comfortably and that, by comparison, we were better off financially than lots of people, I didn’t measure wealth in terms of money. I said we were very rich in that we had our health and a loving family to support us. He was about 7 and he liked that answer. So did I.

  2. Hi Lorna!

    I like your answer too. 🙂 Your generosity with me is always appreciated. I don’t know how you manage to write so much and also take the time to consistantly support those around you.

    Wishing you continued riches. xo

  3. You have made many good points here! I agree that we are losing touch with others at a personal level. We have “hundreds” of apparent friends on facebook, but how many do we actually take the time to visit face to face, or voice to voice? We seem to be disconnected, in a world that is supposedly becoming more and more user friendly. Nothing can yet replace a human hug, or touch, or smile.

  4. Yet another brilliant piece. It’s all true as well and like Aurora said made me stop and think.

    You need to post this kind of brilliance more often!

  5. Your awareness of how we are changing as people is very perceptive.
    It is unfortuante that we have lost that interaction and dialog between people.
    It is so important.

    I may sound a bit like an senior citizen reminiscing about the good ol’ days but I
    still enjoy a real conversation on the phone. Unfortunately, I am down to two who actually
    still like to do that. The others just like to e mail or blog. I like it when we talk on the phone or visit for a cup of afternoon tea. I can feel their emotions. I can feel their spirit.

    Much as I love my grandchildren … a lot of their emotions are lost in an email to Nanny.

    I hear ya and your words are right on.
    Good one …

    • Thank you Isadora,

      I wish people felt more free to open themselves up. Everyone is so guarded/self-centred that even our social networking keeps becoming more insular. When people used MySpace then switched to FB, I thought that it was a step backwards in communication. Gone were the profiles that actually showed personality or had a voice. And then came Twitter! ^^ No deep thoughts in 140 characters. sigh

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