In a recent blog posting: (see Dec 14th 2014 – “True Communication –is it a thing of the past?”) I stated that due to the new way of interacting with people (texts, Facebook, posts, Twitter, emails, IM s and all non-verbal methods) that:
“I feel we are now leaving a lot of this communication open for misinterpretation”
Oh boy, did I discover the truth of that yesterday!
What occurred as a result of my visit to old work colleagues was that I was asked, within minutes of meeting them, if I had fallen in love with someone and when I queried why they should think that I was informed that my Facebook Posts indicated that this was the case. Obviously I had found a toy boy in Africa to make me feel wonderful!
I burst into laughter at how comical that was but…..oh wow and yikes, the power of miscommunication eh?
On returning home I decided to trawl through my timeline to discover where this misconception had arisen, and finding no trace of this (going back about a month) I then posted a comment on Facebook to the effect of this mistaken reading of my post.
I was thus amazed when 3 of my Facebook “friends” read this post and stated that they had also thought I had an African toy boy lover! One even stated that they felt from recent posts it had all ended sadly! Hahaha – the power of Facebook eh?
So there you have it – what I said previously about direct and verbal communication was truly endorsed from this experience. No-one knows you like you know yourself and no-one can interpret what you are or how you feel without direct verbal communication.
With respect to Facebook, I find it a fascinating medium and a great place to post crazy thoughts and ideas that pop into my head in certain moods. It is also a great place to introduce others to what you are getting up.
My comments are often general, noting my doings at the time, often tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic or ironic and based on things happening to me, as well as on my mood at any given time.
However, although I do put some thoughts on life there as well, I really put very little of my personal inner feelings on personal relationships with others out there, as I tend to be a predominantly private person in that respect, so it was interesting to note that others thought perhaps I do. Yes, I often wear my heart on my sleeve but the inner workings of my mind and emotions? – not really, no!
It was at this point that I then recalled a comment thrown at me by a new acquaintance I had made when I met them 2 or 3 times a few years ago and who had then continued to keep in touch with me through Facebook. Now we wanted to meet up while in Goa to see where this would lead us.
On meeting up after 2 years the initial comment from them was “I know everything about you!”
I was totally surprised by this statement as I had never spent much time in their company to chat and their friends knew me only slightly also so…..where did this come from?
I asked how they “knew” me and who had told them ALL about me. They replied “Facebook!”
At that point I simply smiled and answered, “Then if you think you know me from Facebook you know only what I am prepared to show you there”
Well, over the next few weeks we did get to know each other better through the power of verbal communication and without Facebook and as a result of direct meeting and discussion we have become good friends.
Facebook may have helped me to find a new friend but equally it could have hindered this relationship – who knows?
I believe, that direct verbal communication is the only honest way to develop relationships however.
When you look into the eyes (which are the windows to the soul) then you see the truth within and communication is far easier. You talk things through, explain your meanings, laugh together and see what makes the other laugh, dance or sing. This is the way to communicate honestly and find true friendship.
So many of my wonderful friends (and I count myself lucky to be blessed with a few close ones) understand who I am from spending time together, talking together and developing bonds through understanding of differences and similarities.
In respect of my madness and lunacy, they may not understand my quirkiness or craziness but they know it is part of me and love me for it, as I love them. They would never assume what I am doing or thinking in my life. If they were hurt by something I did or said they would tell me. We would sit down and discuss these things. After all, that is what friendship is all about – wanting to know the other person better, accepting them for who they are and caring for and loving another.
And thereby possibly hangs a situation which is reflected in every non-verbal direct communication throughout the world and through time immemorial perhaps!
Without talking to another and seeing their reaction and their direct response to something you say, how can you ever really communicate effectively? Without hearing their tone or noting their expression we can too easily confuse and receive mixed messages. We even do this at times when we do communicate directly so what hope non-verbal, non-direct dealings?
All forms of communication are open to misinterpretation but direct verbal interaction surely is the most effective way of getting your meaning across.
It’s fine if you only want to state something flippant but when your heart and soul is intently involved and you care for another then the only way forward, in my belief is through direct face-to-face talk.
Thus for social media and communication any form of video-calling (Skype, Facetime, etc) MUST be the best communicator when keeping in touch over long distances.
In my humble opinion, the only way to clarify and confirm another’s understanding is to talk and to question them when you are confused.
Thus I thank my old work colleagues for their questions “Are you in love?” “Do you have an African toy boy?” and their subsequent explanation of Facebook being responsible for “misleading the way!”
Maybe Facebook should introduce interactive video – now THERE’S a thought – although it still may be open to misinterpretation of course!