Human Intimacy: Contact once again

Photo by Eric Molina via Flickr

Zoe Lawrence/Contributing Writer

Do you ever feel like sometimes we are becoming… too accessible?

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love technology and its many benefits. The fact that we can see our loved ones faces from a thousand miles away with an application built onto our cell phones is a major accomplishment for the human race. Not even 20 years ago, the idea was unfathomable. We have gone from writing letters and waiting dreary months for them to cross seemingly endless seas, to merely tapping a screen and seeing the people we love from halfway across the world. Email, Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have made it easier for us to find people we connect with, but is it stopping us from building lasting relationships?

I met a young man a couple of weeks ago, on a 31-hour bus ride from New York to Miami. It was an instant connection, not romantically, but an uncanny, intimate level I believe all humans have the ability to share with one another. We talked about everything under the sun. We touched on our views on love to a shared feeling of being misunderstood by our families. It was an amazing feeling to experience a connection that didn’t end with exchanging our Facebook accounts. It’s weird to think that I spent well over 24 hours with this person and I don’t even know his name.

In all that time, our names simply didn’t come up. Our pain came up. Our hopes and dreams also surfaced. But no names, no Instagram usernames, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts were exchanged. Sometimes we sat in silence and shifted our attention to the trees slipping away behind the window glass. It was magical. The way I could get to know so much about a person in such little time.

It hit me after I got off the bus that we would probably never encounter each other again. Isn’t that astonishing? In the world that I’ve grown up in, these things only happen in romantic comedies with vague misconceptions about normal human interaction. But here I was, experiencing it firsthand.

Something about this encounter completely intoxicated me with a feeling I never quite knew before. I know I can speak for many today that I have devalued the simple things about human interaction and exchanged them for emojis and vague text messages.

I, and many others, am becoming way too comfortable with dealing with others behind lit screens.

I want to hear passion changing the pace of someone else’s voice. I want to see how their words curl their mouths whenever they start conversation with me. Little moments like these create tides of blissful feelings deep within me.

Just talking to someone – no binding contracts presented in the form of a Facebook request, no way to tell if I’ll see this person again – just two strangers sharing a couple of words and laughs, then continuing gracefully with their day is what I want.

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