Is Communication a Lost Art?

Years ago there was a song, “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Remember that one? It was about the death of radio because of the birth of music videos. Yes, music videos have their place in the world but I think radio is still a powerful way of introducing and promoting new music into the main-stream world.

I’d like to think the same will be true for communication. While information, thoughts, and ideas now move with lightening speed, I find that it’s depth has never been more shallow. As a society we communicate in so many ways- email, text, Facebook, twitter, and yet people find themselves more alone, removed, and isolated than ever before. Our children go to parties or hang out with friends yet each one is buried in their cell phone. They start relationships and/or break up via text instead of dealing with that really uncomfortable face to face interaction we had as kids that taught us so much about communication, relating to others and more. Awkward and anxious, they can sit beside each other without speaking a single word. Socialization and communication have taken on entirely new meanings where we don’t have the opportunity to know, understand, love, and appreciate another person like we used to. We may be interacting often with someone else without knowing or understanding who they genuinely are. Yes, communication is easier than ever but you may find that for many of us, we’re connected yet disconnected.

I’m just as guilty as anyone. I’ll shoot friends a quick text to check in but it’s nothing like when we actually take the time to talk and find out what’s really going on in each other’s lives. Sure it’s efficient. I mean, sometimes the right emoji can sum up all we need to quickly say. Efficient, yes. Effective? Not always.

The draw back to communicating this way is that it leaves many of us feeling isolated and even lonely at times, but it doesn’t have to. If you find that the lack of interpersonal interaction is leaving you less than fulfilled, do something about it. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s good. If “old school” communication feels like it would create deeper connections for you, go back to it and see how you feel.

The purpose of communication is to exchange information and to connect with others. If that’s not happening, revamp your style. Limit texting to brief, time-sensitive exchanges that need an immediate response. When you can, pick up the phone, and leave a message asking who you’re calling to call you back and watch how much better you feel after that call. There’s nothing wrong with reworking the rules of exchange if they’re not working for you.

I’m hoping texting will survive, like the video star, and truth is, we don’t know how technology will shape how we share and exchange information in the future. The tools we use are just that- tools. How we use them should only be to our benefit while remembering to cherish the value of sound and energy that only comes when we take the time to really connect.

So with that, thx, ttyl, gtg and ? .

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