July 12, 2008

Huh ? What'd you say ?



Communication, we supposedly live in the age of it. We have the Internet, cell phones, pda's, notebook computers, wireless internet, high-speed internet, text messaging, instant messaging, blogs, e-mail and I'm sure there are a few things I'm forgetting.

But, one thing I've noticed missing from our great age of communication is one very important thing, the ability to listen. We live in a world of one-sided chatter. While people are texting and sending instant messages they're not really thinking about what the other person just said, they're thinking about what they're going to say. You see people all the time, even while talking face to face, that are reacting emotionally, verbally and physically to what a person hasn't even finished saying yet.

True communication requires not only hearing what is said but taking the time to consider and truly understand what is being said. Even if you have to ask seemingly "dumb questions" to reach that understanding. People now just react to what I like to call "trigger words". Word's like Republican, Democrat, abortion, gay, tattoo/piercing and other word's mainly used for stereotyping. A person starts to say, "You know I think abortion is...", and before they've completed the sentence the person they're talking to has already prepared their response according to their "belief system". They don't take the time to find out if the end of the sentence is going to be, "is evil" or "is the greatest thing ever".

People just react to how they've been raised, the latest thing they saw on the news, what their religion says about it and on and on. We live in a world where the guns are being fired without war being declared.

Next time you're having a "conversation" with someone, do me a favor, listen and take the time to understand what's being said, even if you don't agree, try to hold your fire.

In conclusion, how about we let communication be what it's supposed to be, communicating.