Communication puzzling, changing

Julia DeCook

People are strange creatures who I have a hard time comprehending.

Despite that fact, I’m incredibly outgoing and extroverted yet absolutely terrified of people at the same time. If I could choose to, I wouldn’t speak to them. I don’t like talking to people and yet I hate being alone. I am a socially-awkward personality’s worst nightmare.

I don’t know where this arose from, but maybe it’s from living in a place where you are never truly alone. In a city of 10 million-plus people in South Korea, it’s hard to ever go anywhere without being surrounded by people.

Now that I live in a place where it is possible to be completely alone, it’s terrifying. I also don’t know how to react whenever strangers say hello to me while I’m walking because I am a product of a large city.

I sometimes wonder if people think I’m a jerk for not acknowledging they said hello. I even get mad at my boyfriend sometimes when he does that, accusingly saying, “You don’t even know that person!” then dragging him away by the hand like a protective mother.

I am constantly mocked for being a city slicker in the rural plains of South Dakota and it’s just as infuriating as I imagine someone would feel if they were called a hick. So please stop calling me a city slicker. I can’t help it. I don’t call people “redneck” or “hick,” even if I do think it a lot.

I also feel like I need to dedicate more of my time explaining to people I am not from North Korea and no Korean they will ever meet will be from North Korea, unless they are somehow kidnapped and detained there.

Any time I leave a first meeting with someone, anyone, all I think about is how weird I was and hope I didn’t come across as strange.

With the advent of technology, more and more people are starting to become socially awkward. Some people only know each other exclusively through the Internet and have never met in real life. This can expand someone’s views of the world, but it can also be incredibly dangerous.

What if one day everyone is socially awkward and the only way we can communicate is through technology?

I try my hardest to at least speak to people over the phone or meet in person. Texting someone something is so impersonal. I wish I could just Skype everyone, it would be the closest thing to a real-life interaction.

So, my readers, here’s my challenge to you. Try your hardest to make all of your interactions through phone calls or legitimate face-to-face conversations for the next week and gauge how fulfilled you will feel. I’m going to test it out.