Monday, July 5, 2010

The Need to be Seen

I've been hibernating an awful lot lately, mostly because I'm wrapping up my newest release, The Phantom of Valletta. If you never written a book, I can tell you it can suck the life out of you. It devours your time, emotions, and social life. Frankly, it can be hazardous to your health sitting on your rear for 10 hours at a time typing because some muse won't leave you an hour of peace! Okay, got that out.

Lately, though, I've had a odd sense about single life, and I've noticed another express the same feeling to me lately too; and that is that sometimes we feel like ghosts walking through life. We're having this overwhelming need to be seen. Do you ever feel that way? I know I have, and I think that's the reason I log into Facebook a thousand times a day waiting for wall posts or checking my email every 15 seconds for the next note to Mr. Vick for Viagra. I'm always seeking validation I exist.

I think our fast-paced life that has thrown us into the clutches of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, iPods, iPhones, Blackberrys, 3G's, Googles, Yahoos and whatever else is out there, really does rob us of being seen. People are disappearing into technology, and that fact is very evident to me at work. Employees walk around with their iPhones in their face never lifting their heads to see who passed by them; or if they are in a meeting, they're eyes are glued to the 2x4 inch screens rather than the attendees across the table. No one looks at anyone in the eye anymore! Checking out the newest app these days is more interesting than the human being sitting next to you. In the end, social interaction is getting pretty weird these days.

I recently saw a stage play called Love Never Dies, which is the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera. Lots of controversy around that subject, but nonetheless there are some good lessons to be learned in the story whether you like it or not. One in particular is about a character called Meg Giry. All she wants is to be "seen." It sort of tears your heart out, because she's a woman who has blended into obscurity even though she has very public life of performing in front of others. You think she would get her need to be seen from what she does - don't we all? Whether it's a job, talent, or gift we share. But those around her that she loves the most have tuned her out, so to speak. She’s like anybody else really crying on the inside – please see me and tell me you care! I'm not a ghost, I'm flesh and blood.

I am often amazed at married couples that spend hours behind technology rather than interacting with their mate. Sorry, but I just don't understand it! I'd kill for an hour face to face with a man across the table, or next to me on a couch, or his arm around me in bed. Yet those who have that gift, don't seem to realize its importance. Technology has taken its place.

As the years pass by and technology takes over more of our lives, I'm seeing more single ghosts walking on this earth and even married ghosts for that matter. We've all hidden ourselves behind the latest technology in our hand or the computer screens in front of our eyes. We turn to the latest wall post, friend request, email, tweet, app, game, or whatever it is to lose ourselves. We're all becoming ghosts, more and more disconnected, when we keep telling ourselves technology is connecting us better.

So if you have those days of walking about feeling like a ghost in the world, you're not alone. It seems to be a growing problem. Maybe if we just hung up the phone, turned off the computer, and lifted our heads to look around us it might help. What a novel idea to look at another living, breathing human being. Perhaps it will catch on again some day. I hear we're entering into a season of sun spots that could knock out all communication! Wow, we'll have to learn how to talk to one another again if that happens. ;-)

Vicki