Technology and Communicating

It’s always great to get together with girlfriends over coffee…or as we sometimes call it, “Therapy Thursdays”  just to reconnect with each other and hear what’s going on in our respective lives.  A couple of weeks ago Sandi & Mimi came over for scones & coffee to chat and it turned into such a great conversation…I was sorry I had to go to work!

I’m not sure how we got started, but the conversation turned to the relationship, or maybe I should say cause and affect, between technology and human interaction.  We’ve all noticed when we go out to a restaurant for dinner and you look over at your neighboring tables and every child, or teenager and, yes, parents, are on their phones, ipads, etc…  Sometimes I’ve just wanted to go over and say, “You know it’s actually really enjoyable to converse with one another!”  There are tables of people sitting in silence looking at their phones instead of enjoying each other’s company.  It’s so sad.  One of my fondest memories of my childhood was playing 20 questions at the dinner table.  My dad would think of a person, place or thing (& tell us which it was) and the five of us would ask 20 questions trying to figure out what, or who, he was thinking about.  I continued the tradition with my kids and eventually we graduated to the game of “Tabletopics” as they got older.  The “Tabletopics” box would always be on the kitchen table and I loved listening to all the kids who had gathered for pizza Monday just pick it up and start asking each other questions.  They had some really interesting, deep questions and answers (yes, I was listening…love to be that fly on the wall while I’m acting like I’m just cleaning up!)

….and then there’s texting.  I think it, and email, are such an incredibly efficient way to communicate….most of the time.  Email is great when you have to plan an event that requires coordinating with multiple people.  One or two (or more) emails, many recipients..BOOM..DONE!  Texting not so much!  When your texting there’s efficiency and brevity involved.  When you can’t come to a consensus it can become a terrible way to communicate.  I’ve seen instances…primarily with millennials (sorry kids)….when they will go back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, with texts and then start taking things personally, when all that’s trying to be done is make a decision. Feelings get hurt and sometimes there’s no malice intended.  I guess my point is that if there’s some disagreement during your decision making maybe it’s time to pick up the phone so you can hear the inflection in the person’s voice.  The brevity of texting “are you coming?” can sound welcoming (like, “CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!’), impatient, or pissed off…depending on the inflection in the person’s voice.  Go on, say it so yourself right now in those three different ways.  See?  Texting can become so impersonal and sometimes you just want to hear a person’s voice.  A misconstrued text can be the difference between a bad day and a good day…so pick up the phone every now and then and hear your loved one’s voices.

God, I sound old!…and actually I love technology and how it’s made our lives easier…but it is contributing to a generation whose communication skills have been stunted to some extent.

Which brings me to Improv….another part of our interesting coffee talk!  Have you heard it’s all the rage on college campuses?

…curious?…stay tuned for an informative Improv post!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

3 Comments

  1. AMEN TO THAT SISTAH! Our dad used to do those same games! Sometimes when we have these commonalities with our dads, I wonder if they didn’t actually teach each other family survival stuff!

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