We’ve got Facebook and Twitter; Skype and GChat; email; text; and many other forms of staying in touch. And yet, most people seem to be communicating less not more. There seem to be fewer conversations but more content.
Lately, I have seen it more and more. People don’t respond to email. People don’t return calls. People don’t seem to acknowledge when they have been contacted.
Yet, people have an expectation of immediate response. For instance, a woman in my now defunct book group placed a note on Facebook about changing our book group meeting (scheduled for two days after her note) because she hadn’t finished reading the book. Because I did not immediately answer her, she emailed me the message. (The answer, by the way, was no.) If she truly wanted an immediate answer, she could have just called. But calling would have involved a conversation, and people today seem to be reluctant to have those. So even though she sent me messages two different ways, she failed to CONNECT with me and thus, her communication was fruitless.
Sharing is not communicating. Repeat: sharing is not communicating. If I share an article, all I am doing is giving you an opportunity to read it. I am not communicating what it is about the article that I agree or disagree with, and more importantly, I am not hearing what your thoughts are. We are not discussing or conversing about the subject–we are just exposing.
In all this morass of social media and instant messaging, we are losing the ability to connect. Real communications between people involves connection. A message posted to the ether is not connection. If I tweet something out, am I truly communicating? No, I am not. To truly communicate I would have to have a back and forth conversation where ideas are shared, people are listening and listened to.
It’s a shame that in a world where we can be in touch with anyone anywhere at any given time, we are losing the ability to really connect.
Your thoughts? Let me know what you think…I really want to know!