Aren't kids great! Grandkids are even better! When they communicate we know exactly what they want! They are very direct! There are no pleasantries mixed in. It starts like this: "Eat your lunch please." Answer "NO" Then negotiation begins. "Do you want ice cream?" Answer: "YES" Terms "If you want ice cream then you have to eat 3 bites of chicken nuggets." Answer: "NO" Negotiation didn't get us very far so we start the game playing! "Here comes the airplane - open wide!" The lips are sealed so tight you can't prior them open with a crowbar! Eventually the airplane and the train and the digger win! Once the kid gets distracted we are able to get them to eat at least 3 bites of something! As you can see, they know what they want. Sometimes we just have to convince them what they need.
In a time of digital technology we find that smartphones, the internet and all social media keep us constantly connected. There are no end of ways to be connected with your best friends, family, and colleages. My question however is: In our world of digital technology are we effectivly connected and communicating or are we confused, irritated, frustrated, or even at times feel inflamed?
Being constantly connected is not what it's cracked up to be. I'm recently back from holiday where we had a 'WhatsApp' group to stay connected. We let each other know where we were, how long it would be before we surfaced for breakfast, and made suggestions on how we were going to spend the evening. That group was a lifeline for so many good reasons. But it was also a target of confusion and ambiguity at other times.
After about 3 days of being constantly connected we all started to feel micro-managed and instead of instantly replying to posts we all started taking a little longer to reply. It was amazing to watch and see what was happening.
I want to go back to the days of childhood! When there were no smartphones, no internet, no social media. There was real face-to-face communication. If you wanted your friends to come out and play you would go to their house and knock on the door: "Can Katie come out and play?" Our world was so much simpler then. Instead of trying to work out what that emoji really means, we didn't even know what an emoji was. The only thing we had back then was a 'happy face'. And we would draw it in the dirt or the sand! We didn't need to figure out exactly what that text meant because we would talk to our friends face-to-face and make plans right there and then! We didn't worry about instantly posting an Instagram Selfie because we had to wait 7 days for the film to be developed!
I'm not saying that we are doomed! Quite the contrary. I love having access to people through these forms of communication. I just would love for us to revisit some of the original ways of connecting and communicating with each other.
So, the next time you think about making plans with friends think about going down the old fashion route. Go knock on their door or pick up the phone and speak to them directly. Amazing what you will accomplish when you just talk. ;-)