It’s hard to remember a time before texting, Facebook messaging, emails etc… But back not so long ago one actually had to dial a number on the land line to talk to a person and even crazier before that one had to actually meet a person face to face for interactions. It’s almost impossible to think of a time when you couldn’t be instantly connected with someone.
Being able to reach each other with the press of a single button is great, do not get me wrong, I would be lost without my iPhone and all my means of communication. However we live in a complicated time where, because we are so comfortable with modern technology we often forget that there are conversations that take priority discussion in person.
Almost everyone in our generation has sent a snappy text, or harsh email. It’s a fact we are all guilty of coming off much more intense via messaging than spoken words. It’s extremely easy to feel frustrated with someone and whip out a mean response and press send without even thinking of the repercussions, and lets not even think about what happens when a little alcohol is added to the mix. We ultimately become too transparent, which can honestly hinder our communications with friends, family and even co-workers.
Now I want to be clear, I am a writer, I love to write anything and everything. I write down lists, how I’m feeling, pros and cons of things, how I want to reply to something. The notes section on my iPhone is insane. Everything is written, right? So I do think when something upsets you or you are having issues with someone that writing is a good process to mentally to express how you feel. It’s sometimes best to keep these thoughts to yourself.
Try to think of a time when you received a not so nice response, or confrontation via messaging, or even the infamous one letter “K” response. The feeling you get upon receiving this is not pleasant; you feel anxious and even nervous about how, what and when to respond. So think about your actions when you are sending these types of messages to others. How would you react upon the receiving end.
We come from a generation that already struggles with communication and confrontation and we have become so comfortable hiding behind the screens of our phones and computers we have no idea how our words effect each person differently. You might not even mean to sound off setting, but the person on the other end can interpret what you’re saying as rude.
It’s a complicated and confusing situation, maybe people are more honest since they don’t have to face the person who they are hurting. But it’s not fair that we justify honesty by not facing reality in person. Some things are truly better left unsaid. I can attest for that, some things I’ve said are TRULY better left unsaid. So take 5, 10, 30 even a few hours before sending something that could potentially be hurtful or something that deserves to be talked about in person.
This is why I think it is our responsibility as a generation to at least make an effort or face our problems in person or at least over the phone. Talking to someone and hearing a voice and real time emotions is much more valuable than ranting via email or being short and rude in a text message. It is vital to remember that there was a time when if you had a bone to pick with someone there was no force field you could hide behind, if it was worth talking about you talked about it face to face. This goes for friends, family relationships and anyone else you might have an issue with. So I challenge you for the upcoming year, if you have an issue with someone or need to confront someone about something, do it in person, as well as remembering to be careful with your word choice. It’s time we start holding ourselves accountable, it’s still your name to the number. So if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it at all.