M. A Morris does such an amazing job describing the chaos of thinking and what the lack of communication can do to your being. I’m betting so many have been in the place her words expose in this piece. I know I have, this piece struck deep for me.
I Words scattered across the page. Words littering the soul.
All these words Piled upon the table, A hoarder’s table of words.
Words left unsaid, Unwritten, A bouquet of words Wilting in the heart and mind.
Words twisted in contortionist meaning Of manipulations, Weaponized for destruction, Yet leaving victims living. II Words of things that can’t be said. Words of things that should have been. Words of things we could not speak out of fears too deep. Words of things we could not begin to understand Of ourselves, of each other. Words of things we wanted so to believe Of others, of the world. Words of hope Of love Of charity Of peace. Words of what we have lost. Words of what we may never…
It was around 2009 that social media became a part of my life. I joined reluctantly. “Who has 1000 friends they communicate with regularly? It’s just a shallow trend!” was frequently heard uttered by not only myself but others.
I’d seriously underestimated the positive as well as the negative I found there eventually.
The initial intent was to stay in touch with faraway friends and family, but my circle quickly grew to include lost friendships from high school, in-common friends I’d not ever known, and new friends who shared common interests. It was a wide variety of people from all walks of life and which had a wide range of interests that I began to include in my daily life. I can honestly say this brought me a great deal of joy. Adding Twitter and Instagram to the mix allowed me to share with even more people, most of which I’d never met, but they seemed to like what I added to their lives. Hopefully, as much as what they contributed to mine. It turned out to be a good decision to join up on all these platforms.
There were drawbacks, though. The thing which became glaringly obvious was the amount of time one can spend at the computer, phone, or tablet keeping up with all that was shiny and new to see. It may be fascinating, but oh, the time suck!!! There was much left undone in those early days that genuinely needed to get done, and where was I? At the keyboard, of course, looking at the monitor, having fun and interested, and unable to tear myself away because I wanted to read JUST ONE MORE THING! Dishes in the sink, laundry waiting for attention, a dust-filled house crying cleaning – all not considered as necessary anymore because there is something way more interesting going on in the place called the Internet. I’m ashamed to admit it, but early on, that’s what happened.
More and more, I watched social media polluted with a new form of comedy. The news feed streamed a lot of the satire sites, confusing our thinking with content, which was not true but purported to be real. Sometimes it was just that – satire, but so many times it was propaganda pushed onto the masses for an agenda. It was distracting, and in that sense, a time-waster because it required more research to determine whether it was true or not. That was frustrating to me, and many of my friends who were striving for knowledge and accuracy. And it’s discouraging to see so many others who ingested all content they were inundated with as if it were fact.
Personal details about our friend’s lives endear us to them even more with this far-reaching tool, but with anything, when used to manipulate for gain, then it’s a detriment, not beneficial. And so many can’t see it as it’s happening. Drama after drama plays out online, and tugs at heartstrings. The generosity pours out, but sometimes the people are just pawns. It’s sad to see, and devastating to those who succumbed to the deception. Social media has the potential for harm and teaches us to be warier and to be less trusting because of it.
Social media can allow us to feel more anonymous and thereby more confident in the presentation of ourselves to our audience. But some choose to remain anonymous just for the sake of being bold, extremely deprecating, and even insulting to others. It’s like social media has given them the super-power of assholey-ness, and they have a worldwide audience. I’ve talked to many who have had encounters that have left them feeling demoralized, marginalized, angered, and humiliated at times.
I also think having this tool to be more “social” also impacts us more negatively. Information gets to us quicker, but it is more devastating when our constructed social network or our personal ‘community’ is injured more dramatically than ever before. It can escalate or dial-up the drama at a much faster pace, and the negative can ratchet up to unheard-of levels quicker than ever before. The misery of others is the fodder in our everyday news cycle, where previously, it may have taken weeks, months, or not at all to hear the gossip. Now, it’s a laid out on our Newsfeeds. And what a nasty pile-on it can become.
Stepping back, when I evaluate it realistically, social media is just the extended version of real life. All of the things I mentioned above do occur in person to person contact. The only difference is it happens on a much grander scale in the online world. There are more people involved, more interactions, more hype, more distraction, and more drama. It’s helped make our community bigger but in a much different way than we thought it would. Social media is representing life on a larger scale, where it’s become louder and more visible.
Thankfully, we will encounter good individuals in our electronic travels, but people being people, some of them using these platforms will be twat-waffles. Unfortunately, that group will dim the positive impact social media can have on our world.
Phoebe (PMU) is a wonderful artist/doodler who caught my eye back in late 2017 when I first became a part of the WP community. I always look forward to seeing the new creations she publishes on her blog –The Daily Doodle.
This artwork struck me as being so warm and inviting reinforcing the message of the words. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
There once was a mollusk named Sam,
laying on the beach with his friend Pam.
They chatted about the recent storm
feeling elated that it wasn’t the norm,
exclaiming “So interesting this life as a clam!!”
Understanding meaning in what another human has to say can be difficult. Imagine a bird who tries to communicate something by pecking aggressively at a windowpane. At times, it’s that unclear as to what their intention or message informs us at that moment. We’ve all been in situations where we were dumbfounded. The concept is not clear, and we don’t get the message they are trying to convey.
Maybe we are distracted and not entirely focused on “hearing” them. That’s an easy fix, listen better. Pay attention and stop trying to figure out how to respond before you’ve fully digested the speaker’s input.
Sometimes it is a language barrier. Feeling unclear can add a level of concentration to determine intention with meaning. Being from different cultures may confuse what objects represent in the other person’s language, or even the translation to our native tongue could vary slightly. Heavy accents will further make communication problematic. Slow, deliberate speech can help any misunderstanding, and asking to clarify can go a long way to understanding each other better.
Incoherent rambling isn’t about making sense, it’s merely ineffective word usage and possibly brought on by overwhelming emotions. Or mental illness. They feel no clarity, so why should there be any precision in rationally emoting? This type of speech will lead to frustration and absolutely no comprehension on the part of the listener. It’s very unproductive, leaving the receiver of the information and speaker equally without a clue as to how to move forward with the conversation.
Some people suck at communicating. It’s like they speak one language and we hear a different one. The logic employed by the listener for understanding seems to be unique to just that individual, and the speaker utilizes another rationale in orating. In other words, the person speaking follows their path from point A to point B, but this journey may be the opposite for the listener.
Then add to that the layer of how intimate the connection with that person is. You tend to think you know what your friend, partner, or family feels about things, so naturally, that should translate into having more comfortable conversations, right? WRONG!
It’s frustrating to be talking to each other only to determine you are entirely missing each other’s perspective. It halts progress for understanding. The more we are frustrated, the less we are inclined to genuinely care enough to want to know what each other’s interpretations are.
Both parties thinking they are communicating effectively sometimes also have a desire to be heard rather than wanting to understand each other. It’s the “who’s right and wrong” scenario in the end. All you hear is emotion wishing to claim dominance and, ultimately, victory. It’s deafening. And it’s defeating what communication should be about – exchanging, conveying or sharing information, disclosing something of importance and a means to connect to others through discussion.
Realize that each conversation we have will be different. All individuals have unique speaking styles, and it matters the type of relationship two people have. Ultimately, the goal has to be mutual respect first. It starts with giving full focus and attention. The presentation of the information is what it is, and adjusting to it means leaving personal biases and interpretations behind while ingesting the data. When we also choose to utilize a keen sense of diplomacy during the discussion, then the interaction can be so much more transparent and more accessible to grasp.
How grand when we can leave eye-squinting moments behind and realize wide-eyed light bulb moments instead! And then, just like that, another avenue of connection has been established.