The Decline of Real Communication
Several weeks ago I posted something that was apparently, very upsetting to a few of my followers. Most of my followers are people that I do not know, with most of my family and friends reading my blog when they feel inclined to click on a random Facebook post or by going directly to my blog site. One of the reasons I chose Tumblr over Blogger, Wordpress, etc., is because Tumblr is more streamline, has a nice app for iPhone, and doesn’t really allow for comments. I received a pathetic message from a follower that felt it was ridiculous I would post my political views on my blog and therefore told me that he/she would no longer follow my blog.
I am not mad that this person is not following my blog. I could care less if they were or were not following me. What I care about is that this person took the time to write a full, carefully worded paragraph just to tell me that he/she feels that I am stupid to think the way I think about politics. They also stated that they did indeed like my photography, but because of what I had shared they no longer felt that way.
Once again, I don’t care that this person stopped following me. I feel bad for our society as a whole. We have the freedom to think and act for ourselves. I am sad because I feel that the awesome advances we have seen in the world of technology have caused our capability to communicate and be polite to crumble and disappear. Many people no longer know how to communicate effectively in a face to face conversation. Many people, rather than making a quick phone call will opt to send an email or a text message. Gone are the days when people sent birthday cards and thank you notes. All you get now is a quick note on Facebook, only because they remembered it was your birthday because they logged in that day.
As good communication skills crumble and disappear, we begin to see yet another problem, the disintegration of online and electronic etiquette. Our increased reliance on electronic communication has caused us to lie more, tell the truth in more direct and harsh ways, and share our opinions freely with the world.
One year ago I was in Mexico on my study abroad trip. While I was there I purchased a small Nokia cell phone for quick communication between the people I would visit and to coordinate interviews and meeting times for my investigations on international business. Outside of those two things the cell phone wasn’t used. I didn’t pay to upgrade to a Mexico cellular plan so I was mostly “disconnected” during those two months. To be completely honest, it was liberating and very enjoyable not worrying about texting, emailing, and updating statuses while I was there. Yes, I did have a laptop that I had to use for school, and I also used Skype on a weekly basis to communicate with family back home but all of this was fairly limited.
So, here is my challenge: Next time you want to get in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, rather than sending a few text messages back and forth, posting on their Facebook wall, or writing a comment on their blog; pick up the phone and give them a call. Talk with them for a few minutes and take a genuine interest in them. This is uplifting and beneficial for both parties. Bottom line: There is a time and a place for texting and Facebooking (new verb), but there is also a time and a place for real face to face communication and phone calls. Take advantage of the time you have.