September 23, 2013
The day I am choosing to write about is Saturday, September 21st. This day I attended my best friends sisters wedding. I chose this day because I though it would be interesting to touch upon how I communicated with people that I was not completely familiar with nor comfortable with. At the wedding, it was verbally silent, but when the bridesmaids were walking down the aisle the people in the pews would communicate via smile or a slight raise of the hand, but never a full wave. When I saw those I knew, I smiled and shifted my arms and hands to express that I saw them and was saying “hello” and they would respond either with a smile or some would look away, as the encounter was over. It was very subtle, but it was still a way that we communicated.
The next encounter I had was unplanned, yet perfect for this assignment. I was in the ladies room and a mother walked in and noticed how I had multiple ear piercings. She said something about this because that was how she distinguished myself from my twin sister. She blatantly said, “I can tell you apart because you have more piercings”. This was said with a tone that was of disapproval, like most people do when they see me, but she did not stop there. She followed up with “I won’t let my daughter get piercings or tattoos because it may interfere with a job”. I was giving the lady the benefit of the doubt, hoping she had a few cocktails in her because that was an indirect insult. It was also rude because she had no idea I have three tattoos. She had no filter about her opinions. I continued the conversation by showing her my tattoos and then stating my opinion. This encounter continued, but the rest was not interesting. I use my tattoos and piercings as a way to express myself. To me they represent a harder outer shell. Not because tattoos make me “bad ass”, but because they are so negatively viewed on by many people and I still do not let it affect me. It made me realize how people are very judgmental, even if someone is expressing himself or herself.
Also, the same day I saw a man with a tattoo on his arm. It said “one goal one vision” under a dark angel. This shows to me that he has a wild side, but he is also dedicated and has a dream. Another man at the wedding had gauges, but he was pulled together nicely and he matched his gauges with his suit. He was a very quite, reserved man, who the kids loved (he was about 26). This communicated to me that he was adventurous yet a genuine man. I never actually spoke to this man, so I could not validate my thoughts, but that is what his appearance communicated to me.
Throughout the night I was on and off my phone taking pictures or texting, but chose to put it away for about two hours that night right after dinner. I myself am very shy so I use technology as a “security blanket”. I hide behind my phone so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable, but when I did put it down I started to meet people and actually dance (something I NEVER do). I think this was the case because people actually felt like they could approach me and then persuade me to open up. When I shut technology off, I spent time with my friends and acted as if I was I would around my close friends. I became comfortable around everyone by forcing myself into this situation.
I went into this exercise of self-observation a little nervous, but also observant. I was nervous because of spending an hour without technology and nervous because I thought I would have been too shy to have any encounters. It was interesting to notice the little details about people and to make assumptions based on how they carry themselves and their tattoos and piercings. I think tattoos and piercings are a way to express your true self if you are to shy to do it verbally or you do not know how to. I think technology ruins communication and human interaction. The people at the wedding who were on their phones did not get the full experience, some even sat at their table the whole time. I think this exercise made me want to be less dependent on technology, and put technology away more often. When my hour was over I tried to stay off my phone the rest of the night simply because I had so much fun not worrying about it and not trying to hide behind it.