With the advent of the mobile/cell phone and then later, internet communication, we have supposedly improved our ways of communication. Now we can contact everyone at any time we want to and without delay.
Has this improved our actual communication skills though?
Obviously, there has been a distinct shift in the way we now communicate with each other but it seems that people actually TALK a lot less, whether on the telephone or in person.
When we now go out we see so many people with their cells attached or with an I Pad or similar notepad or Wi-Fi device in hand. In fact many people now will not go out without them – it is almost as if they are part of the person and withdrawal symptoms will arise without these instruments to hand.
Due to this new way of interacting with people I feel we are now leaving a lot of this communication open for misinterpretation.
Many people benefit from non-verbal communication of course, as they are clever with words and can express themselves well on the media of text or instant messaging and on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
This non-verbal communication also can work well for advertisers, media & governments to get their messages across. However, it is equally effective for scandal-mongers to use scary tactics and to terrorise people who believe everything they read or hear via the grapevine.
We are all subject to the clever manoeuvring of those who wish to remain aloof or mysterious and who are not good at expressing feeling or who wish to manipulate others. However, those who are more interested will actually take the time to check facts on what is texted, posted, emailed or even said to them.
On this note, as an aside, I recall my brief internet dating days when I came across many an unscrupulous married man who declared themselves a “Widower” or “single”. Once the IM had gone on for a while and I discovered the other party was not interested in actually talking to me on the telephone at pertinent times of the day or they were vague with basic information I would quickly disassociate myself from them.
Call me old-fashioned if you will but without direct verbal communication and true interaction, I do not see the point of “chatting” to these people who are apparently on some weird ego-trip and not truly interested in me as a person except for their own ends.
Obviously, as with beauty, interpretation is in the eye of the beholder and when we READ messages or posts from people we will additionally be affected by the mood WE are in at the time of reading and also thus often may misconstrue what is said or texted in a totally different way to that which it was meant.
Sad to say, this happens more and more nowadays and sometimes it may purely be as a result of a defence mechanism on the part of the poster/texter/emailer.
This was bad enough when people took things you actually SAID to them the wrong way, but now this can create real rifts and total misunderstandings, that if allowed to go on can cause all sorts of upsets in your life. After all, taking things at face value has always seemed to be the way of people who are not prepared to spend time researching and questioning the reality of what is said or purported.
This is one reason that I have always advocated TALKING to people as opposed to simply sending them a message when it is important to communicate an idea or a feeling truly. Even when talking we can be misunderstood but at least we have the chance to explain and reason with another at the point of verbal contact.
After all there is no financial reason nowadays to not talk to people with the advent of Skype, What’s App, Viber and other FREE internet and Wi-Fi enabled services and Apps.
So does this mean that people do not want to speak anymore or is it simply that they are too busy with their own lives?
If so, then this is one of the saddest things to come out of new technology, isn’t it? NO time to talk and too busy with what exactly?
The personal interaction and face to face discussion between two or more people can be so exhilarating and can make your day flow wonderfully. A frown can be turned to a smile, a moan turned to a sigh of relief, and a misunderstanding can be easily solved. A misplaced word can be easily explained. Can you do this without true verbal communication? Sadly, I think not.
Sure, we can send a text for things that are just “keeping informed” or meeting but after 2 texts I like to pick up the telephone and SPEAK and really catch up on the mood of another person to establish whether the wavelength is one on which we are in sync in any way apart from through technology.
So please, if you value your friends and family, pick up the phone today and truly communicate with them. Find out what you may have been missing. Show your love and display your emotions.
I will guarantee you that you more can be learnt in less time through conversation than can be discovered through text, IM or any other non-verbal contact.