Maybe I’m irritable because I’m back home in Toronto in the middle of winter and we’re experiencing a deep freeze. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Whatever the reason… I have a little something I need to get off my chest. Perhaps my travel friends can relate to this following rant I’d like to call “Out of Sight Out of Mind”.
Since returning home after my latest 17-month traveling stint there is something that has been on my mind, especially with the influx of friends wanting to catch up. I found that while I was traveling the old adage “out of sight out of mind” rang true when it came to how I believe my friends thought of me. While I realize that my perception of self-worth is not on the onus of my friends communicating with me, it’s nice to know that your friends will make the effort to try to be a part of your life no matter the distance.
After my first 4months abroad in Australia, I discovered that few people even try to keep in touch. At that time, I knew that I was planning on traveling around a lot and wasn’t sure what the internet situation would be like or if there was a possibility of having 3G (for my cell phone to use free-texting or calling apps like WhatsApp or Viber), I started writing on my blog hoping that it would save me time in my communication with others and possibly reach people who may not be #1 on my communication priority list.
That being said, I always try to maintain communication with my family and best friends (via email or a free text service) and figure the rest can figure out what’s going on in my life via Facebook or my blog. We have so many ways of keeping in touch – the world has become such a smaller place, thanks to the internet – yet nobody seems to make much of an effort to communicate.
I found myself sending off emails to people and never getting responses back. I found myself sending text messages or making expensive phone calls to the other side of the world, only to have them unanswered. Am I not that important?! And let it be known – I never once received a long-distance phone call from anyone besides my parents.
We have this thing called “the internet” – it’s not really that NEW of a technology. It’s an excellent forum for communication. So excellent, in fact that our lives rely so heavily on it. We’ve got laptops, iPhones, iPads, tablets, e-readers with internet capabilities. We’re Facebooking, tweeting, blogging, Skyping, networking, and surfing the web. So, if this is the case, why did I never seem to get any replies?! Was it really a case of “out of sight out of mind”?
The most ironic thing is that I’ve now come home after being away and suddenly EVERYONE has come out of the woodwork and they all want a piece of me – or so it seems. Everyone wants to talk about my travels –which I do love talking about – but a small part of me wants to shake them and be like:
a)why do I bother writing on my blog if you don’t read it!?
b) where were you when I was on the other side of the world, lonely, and waiting for a response to an email or Facebook message I had sent you?!
It truly seems that “out of sight out of mind” is a good way of putting it. Some of my best friends and closest family members are even guilty of this. It really makes you feel like crap. Now all of a sudden, I can’t even keep up with the invites to catch up or go out. It’s literally wearing me down.
Here’s a piece of advice if you have a friend or family member who’s gone off traveling to avoid making them feel “out of sight out of mind”
Stop looking at stupid videos on YouTube, funny pictures with blunt and relatable sayings, or even at Facebook pictures of people you went to high school with yet haven’t talked to in about 12 years. Stop tweeting, pinning, stumbling, downloading and all other internet-related-words ending in ‘ing’ and take 5 f**king minutes to respond to that email from that person across the world. You really don’t realize how much us travellers look forward to hearing from people back home. It means you didn’t forget about us. It means that we haven’t fallen victim to that “out of sight out of mind” saying. Believe me, it could really end up making that person’s day. So just think about it…