So perhaps today I shall start sounding like a grumpy old man yearning for a time gone by… Hailing it as a halcyon age… When perhaps the reality does not quite match up to my filtered memory…
The way we communicate these days is supposed to be much more convenient, isn’t it? And much more flexible… No?
I have increasingly started to think that many of the so-called conveniences in our lives can pile up and drive us to frustration…
For example, I know lots of people that when they text or e-mail someone and then do not hear back from the person in a fairly short period of time — their imagination runs wild! Or they start to wonder what the reasons could be for not receiving the speedy reply… “Perhaps I did something wrong?”
I even get the odd pang of it from time to time, maybe when I’m waiting to hear back from a client, a close friend or a loved one. It is crazy, isn’t it?
These alleged conveniences are supposed to make communication faster and simpler. Yet, they can sometimes put us on edge. I’ve also realised that nuance and tone is often lost in an e-mail or text — often resulting in six more e-mails trying to clarify an initial point… Or rectify a misunderstanding.
Many of my clients first come to see me when they are in “live to work” mode and it’s clearly impairing their ability to manage the stress of life in any kind of productive way. They rush in, check their phones, turn them off and flit around for a while before being able to focus… many people seem to get less done at a work station for checking emails every five seconds to see if a new one came through and being unable to complete any other task or focus on it…
Naturally, I encourage everyone and anyone to create balance in their lives and not give their modern communication devices so much power. Likewise, I often advise my readers to stop and use self-hypnosis for a few minutes each day instead of drinking or drugging to alleviate stress at the end of the day or week.
This is the old man in me coming out… I’d love us to get back to some of the old ways of communicating like actually looking each other in the eyes and making human contact! Remember that? Human interaction?
While I was presenting at the Global Hypnosis Summit this weekend just gone… My presentation was especially recorded a couple of months ago and was run at the conference… I went online at the time to answer any questions and offer up some interaction… yet for many, it was not enough… They wanted full-on interaction with me… It does beggar belief a little bit — it was an online virtual eSummit after all.
Modern communication does seem to highlight differences in etiquette too… I spoke at an event in Scandinavia at the end of last year. Despite the freezing temperatures, everywhere I went, the younger generation of people said hello, (they willingly spoke in English too — very humbling!) smiled and were helpful when I needed it…
In the United Kingdom strangers do not commonly smile at you as a matter of course… Though here on the south coast, I find it more than in cities… When out running, other runners acknowledge each other and will be inclined to say “Good Morning”, or “Nice Day, isn’t it”.
Unless I am local, or out running, it does not seem common for me to experience those kind of exchanges… And I smile and offer myself warmly just about all of the time… I strike up conversations with strangers in queues and in shops… In my experience, only an older generation here in the UK do that without being nudged into it by someone else…
I think a pleasant greeting or smile while passing a stranger is a part of civil society that is disappearing and withering in too many sections of society and in too many geographic locations.
Ok, so I know when life is tough; smiling is not the first thing that comes to mind… But if you can manage to text a smiley… Or continually write LOL in texts and emails… Then the same effort could surely be exerted in real interactive life, no?
Have a fabulous day.
If we can’t greet each other on a morning walk anymore then how will we respond as community when needed?
I find it just needs one of you to “break the ice” on my daily walk. People will respond once they know you aren’t going to reject them. So I always make a point of saying hello as I pass someone. I think everyone feels better for it.
Don’t worry, I don’t think it’s a sign of aging Adam! Well intentioned interaction makes people feel good at all ages.
Thank you Stephen – agreed 🙂