Imagine the most emotional time in your life; a time where everything was in upheaval. A day that involved such emotional swings, you had no idea what was going to happen next. It didn’t start that way.
The time began when, like many other great day, you blurt out to your friends, unprompted, that you are looking forward to a wonderful day, and you wish them all the same. Subsequently, you experience humorous moment which solicits stifled giggles about someone’s peculiar happenstance. And as you barely finished that glee, you find out an Old Friend is dealing with a traumatic loss of a pet. You express sincere condolences to the Old Friend. Their trouble brings back the memory of a similar event in your life. You move from that earlier lightheartedness to a heavy-hearted sorrow.
As you absorb that moment and reflect on your past experience, a quote from a historic scholar comes to mind. It coincidentally matches, in some tangential way, the circumstances you observed. The quote brings you some relief and gives you some hope in life, people, and the world. You even release a heavy sigh of relief.
A loud Obnoxious Voice screams out, insistently, some claim that blames all the worlds problems on some sports figures thoughtless rant. You don’t understand the relationship of those topics. The irritation eats at your gut, and you spout off some condescending remark to them, with little thought. While you are still dwelling on that outrageous claim, the Old Friend thanks you for thinking about them as they fight their way though the emotional loss they had. Your heart pauses for a moment and you politely reply, “You’re welcome.” You again feel that camaraderie for the shared loss; and it pulls at your heartstrings for moment, maybe brings water to your eyes reflecting on your similar loss.
Your Mother happens by and inquires about your plans for the weekend. You’re not sure, but you check with your Spouse. She reminds you about a school event you are supposed to attend for the kids on Friday evening, and the yard work that was postponed from last weekend. You think, why can’t she clean up after the pets once in a while; but you know it’s your responsibility and just let it rest. But it is still irritating. She says Saturday for dinner with family would work good.
While you are thinking about the weekends plans, a Family Friend tells you this hilarious joke about two men and a priest walking into a bar. You laugh hysterically and repeat it to other people next to you. Some of them interject with other wise cracks that make you smile even more.
Thinking back to the meal, you remember a dinner, long ago, when the whole family gathered. One of those never-forget times with family. You pull out some old pictures from the event and reflect on how happy things seemed to be back then. It’s was a long time ago, but you remember it like it was moments ago. It brings a gleeful tear to your eye.
Finally, you respond to your Mother. You let her know you have a few things planned, but you invite your parents over for dinner. You ask if she wouldn’t mind bringing a side dish, specifically, your favorite sweet potatoes she always makes. You grin; knowing she’ll not let you down.
Out of the blue, a high school friend shouts out a joyful “Howdy!” You are astounded this New-found Old Friend is still alive; after all, some of the things you two did back in the day would kill most people. You exchange a few where-you-been inquiries, and highlights after high school. You two laugh reminiscing over some of the silly things you use to do.
The Obnoxious Friend from earlier interjects about something you said last week; uses it to point out how it seems you have no idea what you are talking about. You are astounded as his shallow view on the world and society. You quickly pull out some reference material and find documented proof those two items from earlier are not related. You highlight the evidence you found. An argument ensues. Your blood boils. You don’t understand how he could continue on the dead-end path he seems stuck on. The Obnoxious Friend blurts out he’s sick and tired of listening to your one-sided rants and lack of understanding. He spews off on a long tirade, and culminates by proclaiming he will never speak to you again.
Oddly, after a long exchange of memories, the New-found Old Friend, suddenly seems to be non-responsive. You suspect he must have had to run off.
One of the comical friends asks if you and your Spouse have made plans for the weekend; they are having a party and hope you could make it. Although it would be fun, you regretfully decline, knowing you’ll have family over; and family comes first, especially when you committed to hosting dinner… with Mother’s sweet potatoes.
Your Spouse asks if your Mother will be bringing a dish. You still hadn’t heard what your Mother will be bringing to dinner. So, you ask her again. Your Mother apologizes; she had missed your last question. But because she didn’t get your response, she went ahead and made plans with some other friends. For an instant, despite the relationship, maybe because of the ongoing emotion from earlier, you feel betrayed. You think, “it would’ve been nice if you’d reply….” But before you put it into words, you accept the apology and apologize for not being more responsive; with the bad communication, it is understandable.
Imagine an Hour of a day in your life where these events occurred. It is happening, right now, to you.
Welcome to social networking and online media.
It is no wonder the world today suffers from such psychological turmoil. We go through this emotional roller-coaster on our social networks at an untenable pace. Somehow, we think we can engage in meaningful conversation in 140 characters. We don’t draw parallels between the citations, but we proclaim others should understand our intended meaning with only an unexplained reference to a historic writing. We bounce through these emotional highs and lows at a pace that cannot be sustained.