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Monday, December 18, 2017

Losing a Best Friend: The Importance of Listening

by Shantall Prado (writer), Los Angeles, April 01, 2014

Credit: Stuart Seeger
Best friends

...we are relying on technology to help us with our problems rather than our friends. In a world where people are being brought together, losing a best friend can create devastating results...

According to the Ted Talk “Connected, but Alone?” by Sherry Turkle, technology is being used as a form to escape from each other. This is creating people who are connected but feel lonely. As Turkle claimed, ‘[...] no one is listening [...] we are expecting more from technology and less from each other.’ What she means is that we are relying on technology to help us with our problems rather than our friends. In a world where people are being brought together, losing a best friend can create devastating results, making this loss extremely difficult.

Breaking up with a best friend can be a difficult subject to talk about because you are probably not speaking to the people you regularly would, and are most likely in the beginning process of finding new friends. You may feel that your new friends cannot handle such an emotional display and your old friends are not there to listen either. You may feel people are not listening to you, and as a result, people turn to technology to fill the gap. As Turkle said, “Many people share with me this wish, that someday a more advanced version of Siri, the digital assistant on Apple’s IPhone, will be more like a best friend. Someone who will listen when others won't.” What Turkle means is that people are not listening to each other and are hoping that an Iphone application can listen to their problems when no other person will. Wanting a machine to listen to your problems and breaking up with a best friend are not isolated cases. In fact, they may be more common than one may anticipate and can increase the detrimental results.

Losing a best friend is a painful situation but remember: you are not alone; you are not the last, and you are not the only one to be going through this. Although technology may be readily available, it cannot connect with you as deeply as a best friend, even though best friends do not last forever. Sometimes people simply grow apart. Sometimes endings are gruesome, and sometimes, there is simply a prolonged break. At the end of the day, deciding to take the necessary steps to leave the friends that are hurting you will help you grow and develop. Your actions will speak to your character and teach you about yourself.

Try to find the silver lining in your situation. Focus on things that make you happy, and try to see it as a learning experience. Remember, others are going through their own troubles as well and are also in need of someone to listen. If you find yourself dominating new conversations, finish up what you need to say and ask others about their problems. A little empathy goes a long way.

Try listening to others as much as you need them to listen to you. Realize that you have two ears to listen and one mouth to speak, meaning try listening twice as much and speaking a bit less. We live in a world where we are turning to technology for comfort and turning away from our friends. It is becoming increasingly difficult to establish lasting bonds and losing a best friend can be especially difficult. Try listening and empathizing to new friends and be sure to unplug from technology every now and then.



About the Writer

Shantall Prado is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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