We live in the most technologically advanced time in the history of humanity. This is true of so many areas of life. It is especially true of communication.
It wasn’t that long ago when instantaneous communication was impossible. Before the telegraph you had to send a message via pigeon or horse or ship. Sailing covered the most ground and even that took time. Horses could travel upwards of 25-30 miles in a day. Ships could cover up to 100 miles in a day if conditions were good.Today we have the luxury of immediate communication. Both situations come with equally important but differing responsibilities. The ancient’s bore the responsibility of faithfully delivering a message in the face of storms, pirates, bandits, etc. Today our responsibility is to become better listeners, not just better talkers. Imagine when you had to wait weeks to hear back. When you finally got a reply you might pour over it even cherish it and write a very deliberate response. Immediacy diminishes our perceived need for being deliberate.
More and more I see conversations where no one is listening. Empassioned points are made and offense is taken but the reality is someone didn’t really care enough about what you actually think to ask you for yourself. Instead expedience is added to our already expedient and the shortcut of assumption and presupposition fills the gaps in understanding. It is unnecessary. We aren’t waiting on a boat or a horse or a pigeon. We can ask. We can listen. We are not left to guess. People will appreciate someone actually asking what they believe rather than making things up and stereotyping people.
We can do better. The tools are all there. We just have to use them.
How would your social media use and what you post change if you had to wait 24 hours before the reply box was available? What if it took a week or two? There are some things I know I wouldn’t have posted. I doubt I am alone.
Let’s learn to listen. That is going to take slowing down. It starts with me.