The confusion and familiarity of the above title’s sentence is my topic of the day: genuine communication. It’s lost. OK, not lost; I will proudly say that I’m doing my best to carry its torch, as are a few others.
Genuine communication is dying. I understand its part of Western work culture to ask someone “How are you?”, and this is part of the problem. Notice that I didn’t say the practice was to ask someone how they’re doing, the practice is stating that exact phrase, word for word. It doesn’t mean we’re actually interested, and I would argue that most of the time, we’re not. And we all know this, as we respond with “Fine” when we’re actually at the opposite end on the “Fine” spectrum.
How about we actually ask someone how they actually were doing? But let’s be honest with ourselves; we ain’t got time for that. Work is busy, home life is busy, life is busy. Hell, I often feel I’m barely treading water in the sea of life; I can’t imagine what the weight of another person’s burden would do.
And I don’t think we should take on another person’s burden. We’ve all got our own problems.
But you know what would be great? Talking to someone, – REALLY – talking to someone.
As in, when you talk to someone:
-look people in the eye, not at your phone’s screen.
-respond with words, not with acronyms “LOL” “K” “TY” “LMAO”. Ask yourself: when was the last time you actually laughed out loud when typing “LOL” instead of just exhaling through your nose?
-have a conversation with someone, instead of just thinking about “How am I going to get out of this?” It’ll end when it’s time to end, and if you have to go, just freakin’ end it yourself.
I am NOT putting myself above everyone, because believe it or not, I’m working on those things I just listed. As recent as a few weeks ago, I was doing them. Since it’s still habitual, my instinct tries to default to them, and I actively have to shut them down.
But seriously, we were born social creatures. And yes, tweeting, texting, Facebooking, etc-ing people are extensions of social interaction. But let’s bring it back to basics: actually talking and listening to one another.
We’re social creatures; let’s freakin’ act like it.