I tell myself that perhaps a few generations ago, it might have been the "in" thing to be a complete social recluse of a writer. It made the authors mysterious, and by extension, some kind of cool. I suppose.
In the days of writers and artists like Poe, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Harper Lee, as well as others, composers, painters, musicians, etc., who were so hard to get to, but so easy to "get," I guess people probably expected it. Maybe it even added some validation to their talent. I guess.
But now, we are in the age where being socially inept is not a good look, for people in general, but especially for those who have to rely on themselves to publicize, promote and market their own work.
Setting aside my own loathing of texting, et. al (electronic/non-human exchanges as preferred mediums of communication), I still feel confused, even grieved a bit for the seemingly dying art of communication. There is something fundamentally sound in developing social skills that require actual talking, listening, and face-to-face human engagement. Social networking was introduced to enhance and complement effective communication, not to replace it.
The speed and the convenience are one thing, but if you can only comfortably interact with other people in text messages, emails, or instant messages, then you're socially impotent. Your so-called comfort zone is threatening to strangle the life out of your relationships. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being adept at the latest modern technology, but there's something missing if you prefer all of that over personal contact. Least of all, your communication skills are lacking. Not enough attention as a child, maybe. Too much attention as a child, maybe. Who knows? But something is missing.
That especially goes for the obsessive video gamer types. In fact, they kind of creep me out. When video gaming crosses the line from casual recreation to necessary activity, it's obsessive. And creepy. Here is where all the addicts would say, "I can stop anytime I want," feel insulted, and proceed to hurl insults in the comments section. I digress.
But as I think about it, people probably thought that some of those writers and artists above were a bit creepy, too. You know, the socially awkward, nerdy types. And I suppose that was okay with everyone back then, since those folks had a lot of good writing, composing, music and artistry to do their socializing for them.
I suppose if one is a writer who creates and delivers on that level, then reclusive, socially awkward behavior is acceptable. But self-flattery aside, what of those of us who are not on that level? What if you're not even a writer or artist, but just someone who's weird for no reason?
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