With all the new technology and instant information, I think communication has taken a big hit. We’ve grown to depend on text messaging, e-mailing, Facebook, Instagram and other sites on the internet to speak to one another. What’s missing? You can’t read a person’s body language, see the expression on their face or really hear what they’re saying. The skill of conversation has been obliterated by these social networks – and yes, I use them too. I’ve often been reminded by my children to get into the 21st century.
Having taught public speaking and drama, I know the value of the spoken word and physical interaction between people. You don’t get that in a text message. You can read all kinds of things into an e-mail. In trying to push forward into the rest of this century, we’re really losing something important. Face to face communication allows us to listen, to visualize and to speak spontaneously or with thought. Hopefully thinking before we speak.
One of our greatest difficulties, as we age, is the loss of hearing and sight. Without them we become frustrated, feel lost and helpless. We watch a television show and try to lip read, but that usually doesn’t work. We watch a sunset with cataracts in our eyes and something is missing. As these senses disappear, the same thing is happening when we depend on electronics. As one who has been gradually losing the ability to hear, I can attest to this fact. The truth is that eventually we lose our physical senses and one day the whole electronic world may die.
In all relationships, the key to unlocking a good one is communication. If we’re not willing to listen, we’re downgrading the importance of the person were talking to. We’re setting ourselves on a higher plain than the one we’re speaking to, before we even have a chance to know them. We’re making faulty judgments. Open conversation allows us the chance to see, hear and act in an intelligent way. For example, how can you say, “I love you,” in a text message and have it hold any truth. If you do it in person, your sincerity can be heard and seen.
Take a few days to spend time with those you care about. Make it a point to communicate verbally with those you work with. Put your electronics away for a few weeks and realize you can survive without them. In fact a whole new world might just open up for you.