What the heck has happened to the “CONVERSATION”? I mean, real, live voice on voice action! We converse more with our pets these days than with other human beings. Despite the fact that our pets are more fun to talk to and can be trusted to keep our secrets, people just need more connection! After all, no one has ever become pregnant by text (just sayin’).
Check out this recent conversation I had with my dogs…God bless ’em:
Me: “Hiiiii babies! Mamma loves you!
Dogs: blank stares and panting
Me: “Whatcha gonna do today babies?”
Dogs: blank stares, panting, and tail wagging
Me: “Do you want a snack?”
Dogs: happy blank stares, and tail wagging
FYI people..,. THIS IS NOT A CONVERSATION!
A good ‘ol fashioned verbal exchange is rare these days. Our email boxes are overloaded, and our text messages are intrusive and out of control! There are so many recordings when trying to get customer support that I am often startled (after tapping a million frigging phone keys) when a real person says “Hello, this is Roberta, how may I help you?!” I’ve heard people getting all upset when service people answer from outside of the county in which they live, but my feeling is… “well at least its a “person!”
Recently I was surprised listening to a person being phone interviewed by a recording! Who knew THAT was a thing?! I was thinking… with the wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning, I guess that’s where we are. I get that streaming certain shows might predict future interesting programming etc. But, how will systems measure what people are saying as viable answers to questions being asked in an interview? Also, what about the questions the job applicant might have wanted to ask? Does anyone care about that? Apparently not. This is basically just a one-way dialogue? Oh wait, you’d need two participants for a dialogue. SO I guess its kinda like not even a monologue more like a “unilog” or like talking to my dogs?! But heck, at least they react!
Back in the day, we had to “dial for dollars” and “hit the pavement” when seeking employment. FYI “dialing for dollars” meant looking in the newspaper (remember those?) and making phone calls. Phone CALLS!? Imagine that!? “Hitting the pavement” meant getting up (early), getting fully dressed in business attire (that’s ties, slacks, pumps, and pantyhose), with multiple copies of a paper resume in hand, then walking in and out of different places completing applications in person and sometimes interviewing on the spot! The process took days, weeks and sometimes months! It also made discrimination much easier.
Fast forward to today…I am grateful that we can do research, job hunting, applying, and interviewing in our pajamas at home or from any location all within an hour without ever speaking with one solitary person! It is amazing!
Today there are more lonely, sad, depressed, drug-dependent, and suicidal people than ever before. During The Great Depression (1930’s) times were hard, I mean really hard, at its lowest point, some 15 million Americans (15 million which was 20% of the population at the time equal to about 65 million today) were unemployed and about half of the US banks had failed. Families were starving, there were very few jobs, people kept cash at home (when they had any) but neighbors turned to each other to share meals, gardens, livestock and more! Neighbors helped each other, and extended families lived together.
Why is there such an astonishing percentage increase of anxiety-ridden, suicidal, stressed-out, burned-out, down-and-out people than ever?! AND there are more people on our globe than ever before.
I believe the reasons include…
- We text instead of talking
- We video chat instead of visiting
- We use Instagram, Facebook, and SnapChat to see how people are doing instead of making a visit or phone call
- We see the highlights and fakery of what people post on the various social media options and judge our own existence as less than that of others
- We shop for “instant dates” and “hookups” online instead of saying “hi” to someone intriguing in our travels, and there are so many options that we assume we can do better so we just keep looking
Speaking of our travels, there are fewer reasons to leave our homes. Brick and mortar retail and store chains are going out of business because we shop without ever seeing or talking to another living soul from the comfort of our fingertips! We can even travel by watching YouTube or TV!
I literally almost hit a guy the other day because he stepped off the curb against the traffic light staring into his phone! Holla if you’ve ever been on either side of THAT scenario! We are so engrossed in social media and mobile devices, that we are killing people on the road because we just had to answer that text or respond to that email!
We’ve lost connection with each other! We don’t even look at people we don’t know, God forbid that we would actually make eye contact, smile, and say “hello”.
I am surprised when people around my age (older than millennial is all you need to know..ha!) have succumbed (exclusively) to text messaging… I’m not saying texting is bad, I personally love it for convenience, BUT not as a substitute for conversation. I met a man once that I enjoyed talking to… when we talked that is. He was engaging and fun, but 90% of the time we were texting. One day I asked (ironically via text *sigh*)…”Hey, we’re not teenagers might we talk on the phone more?” He replied, “Sure, but texting is easier and more convenient.” Although I agree that it is more convenient, I accepted his reply back as “He’s just not that into me!” He assured me later that he was “into me” but by that point, I wasn’t “into him!”
Outside of our work lives why don’t we meet people for lunch more often or take 30 minutes out of our day to call a person we love instead of looking at all the social media updates from all the folks we could give two poops about?
Why not say hello to that person you see at the grocery store that you find attractive? Don’t be creepy about it, just smile and say “hello” and take it from there!
Let’s try this:
- Seek connection with others through conversation (your amazon delivery person doesn’t count)
- Smile at someone WITHOUT an emoji
- Avoid sending mean, snappy or controversial words via our electronic devices
- If you’re on a dating app, ask if the person would like to “talk”
- Avoid technology as a substitute for a conversation when delivering difficult information (i.e. break-ups, negative feedback, and comments)
- Just TALK TO PEOPLE MORE!
Sounds easy, right?! I just ordered a car wash online (*sigh”)!
Love, Light, and Connection!
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