Written for Make and Meaning by on MAY 20, 2010
I’ve seen that. I know about that already. I know about something else just like that.
Have you ever told someone about something, perhaps on your blog or in conversation, only to be met with one of these phrases? I have. I think that sometimes it is an indicator of someone who is right on the same wave length as you, keen to delve into the same kind of things that you are into. I like those times. Let the conversation begin! Snap!
But sometimes the conversation stops right there. It might end like this…
‘I’ve seen that before’. ‘I know about that already’. ‘That is the same as this’. ‘I posted that last week’ ‘I saw that over there last week’ ‘Goodbye’.
Those are the times that make me wonder. I mean, I think it is so awesome that people are so widely travelled on the internet, I really do. But I do wonder whether it’s kind of like a really fast tour bus. Yes, we can see 20 amazing creative wonders on the internet in 20 minutes. We can. But is seeing really believing? I think there is a bit of a tendancy to stamp our passport and click away. A trend towards seeing it all without knowing much about it.
Wouldn’t it be so great if we could slow down a bit? See less, but engage more? Actually take the time to soak things up, to appreciate the work of others in a more meaningful, human way. Surely if someone is taking the time to sit down and write something, or indeed stand there and chat to you, they really want to engage with YOU. They want you to know the things that are important to them. They want you to understand their motivations, inspirations, likes and loves. Or at the very least, hear them out.
So why, I wonder, do we often deflect their excitement or enthusiasm with a big fat ‘Meh!’ ? Are we really so extremely well versed in everything about most things that we not only click away in search of a fresh stop over, but we sometimes feel the need to leave a parting YAWN?! Just because we have SEEN it, doesn’t mean we know all about it… or indeed that it’s not worth seeing again.
I think it would do us a world of good get off the bus and go for a quiet wander. Retrace our steps sometimes, even. Meet some nice people. Work out who they are and where they are coming from. Drink some wine. Eat some cheese. Have some laughs. And when they tell us stuff about them, maybe we could listen to what they are trying to say? And if we’ve seen it before, maybe we could talk about what made it memorable? Start a bit of friendly dialogue? Keep the conversation rolling?
It totally beats putting on our ‘Been There Done That’ trucker cap and ordering the tourist special.