LIFE THROUGH NETWORKS OR WORDS
Face to face communication among teenagers is very rare, today, though with WhatsApp, Instagram or using any other social network they can conversate for hours. I understand that times have changed and that it is much easier to discuss certain things through a screen than face to face, but this way they are missing very important values such as eye contact, being brave to deal things directly with the person in front and put the strength in a dialogue. We cannot lose the personal relationship, which makes the essence of relationships, indeed, nor say some particular things through the network. A voice, a look, a smile cannot be replaced by an emoticon. It’s not the same. And this works with business relationships, as well, an e-mail solves uneasy or boring conversations that before were only possible face to face, but with personal relations you can achieve more goals than with a cold e-mail. Most people do not leave their comfort zone and follow the easiest way, when life is not always about easy things, and we are definitely educating generations that avoid difficulties, turn a deaf ear to advices and keep walking. We should find a balanced point because as in most things in life, this is something educational, so we need attitude. With adolescents I personally still feel that I can do something and that not everything is lost, but with adults who are already in the business system it’s almost impossible. A real shame they not know what is the value of true communications.
However, social networks have also many positive things: you can get back in touch with childhood friends, which made me very excited a few weeks ago, you can also keep contact with people who are far away and feel them closer, or you can even fall in love. Moreover, it’s a way to care for the written word, as letters did before. WhatsApps or Tweets are shorter, but many people post on Facebook and blogs, and give life to the written word, not a bad thing to recover. Everything has its pros and cons and finding the right measure is the most difficult thing. But we can, and under my point of view, we must find it.
Francesc Miralles and Javier Ruescas wrote PULSACIONES, published by SM (Spanish) / Cruïlla (Catalan), a YA book with eight editions in the market. The point here is that the whole book is built with WhatsApp messages sent through a program called Heartbits where you live the stories of the different characters. As in LATIDOS, the authors repeat the successful formula with the story of Carol and Remo, who meet at the airport and immediately feel the connection -but one is going to Japan while the other to Los Angeles. What happens between two strangers who click but have to be in different parts of world? Every time they receive a message in Heartbits, their hearts beat differently. Is it love? Can they get to know each other in the distance from what they upload in Heartbits or post in Blogbits? The teen-reader will feel more than identified with this experience that as a mother I have read in one sitting, taken by a story that basically tells of a way to communicate with words that if it’s not the only way we have, I find it wonderful, as well. Writing is a way to express emotions and with their master skills, Miralles and Ruescas make of this book something with a special meaning. The only negative point of the book is that it only takes you a few hours to finish as it is an addictive and fast read, therefore, perfect for teenagers in Summer. For those who have not yet read PULSACIONES go to the bookshop and buy them both since, with no doubt, you’ll be left wanting for more.