This world is different. It’s shorter, it’s brief.
Technology has made it so we can have anything quickly. We are so busy we take full advantage of the instant communication we can have with our phone. We get messages and make plans, start relationships, etc over text. It’s easy.
Sometimes you meet people, and they are rare; that don’t buy in. They don’t text non-stop during the day. They have a thought, that they just let fall away rather than blasting it across the inter-web. They don’t comply with the idea that if you are thinking about someone, you have to tell them. In little words, on a little screen. It can wait. They feel no need to send “good morning” messages, with a follow up “how was your day?” There is no “goodnight, sweet dreams” salutation. That maybe some are used to.
When you have one person who is used to communicating in sound bites, and they meet and start with a new person, that is not used to sound bites, what are the challenges?
Soundbite is used to reacting to many small bits of information, and responds quickly to the impetus. Enough words to convey the information, yet not sculpt it in a elegant way.
Non-soundbite’s takes their time. Not bound to their electronic device, they form thoughts that come and go, sifting through, so the important stuff sticks and can be expressed later.
Recently, I had someone I was talking to, who was a Non-soundbite. He liked or at least preferred talking on the phone, to texting.
For me personally, I am terrible on the phone. Have been for years. Other’s have commented. Sometimes there is a lag and I am not sure when the other person will speak, so I find myself interrupting or speaking out of turn. I will burst out with random things that make no sense to someone who does not have immediate access to my brain. I am a world class, colossal failure at leaving voicemail messages. Always have been.
I have gotten lazy. I don’t know how to talk to other people. I am bad on the fly, talking on the phone and man, if an issue comes up, I become a disaster. Can’t think properly, don’t know what to say, and a tornado comes out of my mouth. Then I almost immediately forget what I just said and have no way to retrieve it.
In my teens, when I’d talk to a guy, I could marathon chat, and it was easy.
I am way out of practice at this. Fail.
In life, I try to be accountable. I appreciate feedback and am always trying to be a better person than I was yesterday. Always working on stuff. Not only at work but in my personal life. Especially, my personal life.
I try hard with my daughters, to listen. Really hear what’s going on with them. I have had them with me from the beginning. They know how I talk, what I am trying to say and understand the tone of my voice and get my jokes. Our Seinfeld based common sense of humor, is one we all rely on for a quick jib or to sum up a situation. Sarcasm abounds.
My girls are busy, and I am busy. So, often I will send a funny Gif that they can see and relate to, as a way to connect without forcing my way into their day or interrupting whatever is going on. Long ago, I decided I was not going to be one of those guilt trip moms. You give them space and they come back.
But what to do now, as I’ve wrecked a possibility? One I was excited about?
Do they give talking on the phone lessons?
Is there any hope for those of us who have fallen into the black hole of technology?
Writing is so much better, because you can backspace over your mistakes and rewrite. You can think about what you want to say, sculpt it to sound exactly how you want it to. Use words you feel would fit whatever that situation is. Look them up to check your perceived definition or meaning. Make sure it’s relevant.
On the phone, you can’t see the person’s face. You can’t see their expression, their eyes. You can’t feel. I hate it. And today, I hate my phone. I hate texting. I hate everything but face to face.
Time to take a deep dive into how I want to communicate with the people I care about. Grow out of this global obsession. Be intentional. Be thoughtful.
~World class colossal dorky voicemail of mine that comes to mind.
Years ago, I needed to leave a message with a contractor about the Frankenburn project.
“Hi Mike, I wanted to see if I could talk to you about the Frankenberry project. We are going to need to order more tile for them.” Proceeded with about thirty seconds of uncontrollable laughter, some snorting, and apologies.
He called back and we laughed. And then took care of the Frankenberry’s.
Hoping it gets better now.
When you know better, you do better.
So it goes…