La società in cui vivi

The chapter I am currently teaching in my third semester Italian class has a section titled “La società in cui vivi.” Today I found myself asking that question, sadly. For reasons unrelated to the point, this morning I contacted one of my former professors, and he sounded uncharacteristically aloof and disappointed in me. I was taken aback, yet I found his reaction perfectly understandable. I am not good – this is a royal imagesunderstatement – at networking, hence I could truly see his point. I apologized, and told him to forget about my request. It turns out that a few months ago he lost his daughter, and I was completely unaware, hence I never made contact, nor sent my – belated today, yet heartfelt nonetheless – condolences. I am not a Facebook user, nor a Twitter one, which appears to be the means of choice people nowadays use to keep ‘friendship’. I use (little) other social media, less intrusive, but that’s beside the point too. Today, I came off as an insensitive, opportunistic jerk, and that was painful and shameful. I am mad at myself for my inability to stay in touch with the people I care about. I am also disappointed that no acquaintance of mine thought I could appreciate to be informed about such a tragic event concerning a person whom I respect tremendously. Really, what have we become? What kind of “society” is this?

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