I’m thinking a lot these days about all the ways we have to communicate with each other in 2019. In my adult life, there was a time when you either talked on the phone, wrote a letter, or saw someone in person (or you could send a fax!)
Now we have so many options sometimes we lose track of where a “conversation” took place. Text? Messenger? Email? Zoom? Slack? DM?
There is a lot that is awesome, literally, about all these methods. The fact that I can talk via videoconference with a friend in Perth, Australia blows my mind. But we are also losing something.
Over the lifetime of our species, we have evolved to understand each other—-but only in person. In fact, our survival has depended on being able to get a lot of information from another human in a short period of time. Most of the ways we do this are lost when we communicate in any way other than face to face.
Nick Morgan’s recent book, “Can You Hear Me?,” goes into this topic in depth. Essentially he argues that the emotional connection of communication is, at the very least, strained when we rely on other methods of communication, and often it is absent altogether. We lose the sense that we are communicating with another person, and we are bereft of the sense of connection we seek.
What impact might this have on our homes and workplaces? What is the proportion of true connecting to mere transmitting that is happening in our lives?