We are very lucky today in that we have an abundance of tools to make communication easier. Businesses are thriving and personal communication is a mere video call to the other side of the world, instantly. However, over the last year, I have witnessed many groups of individuals who, in this era of communication are losing the ability to communicate. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and often use it to read a book during my downtime when I am away from home, but when you see groups of young people on a night out or an event, what I see is nearly zero conversation. All you see is a group with their heads in their phones. It’s really sad to see.
Learning and developing or selfies and unrealistic lives?
Now, I could be totally off the mark here and everyone I have seen has either been learning, reading or working mobile on their new business, but the sorry state of affairs is that they are not. They are looking at selfies of someone pouting like a fish on the vast amount of social media platforms there is today. That’s not the only problem. There seems to be an ongoing trend of posting unrealistic images to make the individual look like they have a perfect life. Pictures of happiness which is a front, just to be liked by other people. Some of our younger generation spend a vast amount of time on their phones, racking up thousands of posts of pretty much the same thing every day. I wish there was a way for them to understand the value of time and how much of it they are wasting. We never had YouTube or platforms where you could earn money from using the internet, if only they put the same time and effort into actually doing something. Not only would they benefit from their talents, they would also learn new skills which will release vital neuro chemicals into the brain, now that’s happiness. Anyway, I digress.
Just talk to people
My points above are mainly for our youth of today but everywhere you go you see people of all ages doing the same thing. Not just kids, adults of all shapes and sizes. In coffee shops, waiting in queues, walking, at the dinner table. It’s everywhere. No one talks anymore, and I think this is a bad thing. There are so many benefits from just meeting and talking to people, it’s fascinating to do. You can learn so much from any individual you meet by just talking to them. Not just about them, how they think or what they do, but about yourself. The ability to gain rapport with individuals from diverse backgrounds, of all ages is a dying skill which is all down to the era of digital communication.
How ironic is that, in this era of communication we are losing the ability to communicate.
I believe social anxiety will become a condition that many youngsters will develop through the hundreds of hours they use on their mobile phones. The more we let technology do things for us the more we will lose the ability to do it for ourselves. The brain is something that needs the right sort of input to learn and develop, and the simple act of talking to someone, especially when you don’t know them, develops the brain in an abundance of ways and in turn, your communication skills.
Remove your phone and be open to opportunity
Now I’m not saying go out and talk to every stranger you meet, that would be a little weird, but by putting your phone down you are open to communication from others. This is the key, being open to communication from others and having the skills and confidence to communicate with them. When you have your head in your phone, you miss everything. You also never know who you might meet. It’s like that sliding doors moment. Have your head in your phone and you may just miss that opportunity you have been looking for. Be open to your surroundings and that opportunity may come sooner than you think.
Use technology efficiently and productively
If you are going to take advantage of this era of communication, do it productively and efficiently. Don’t just send pointless selfies to one another just to rack up points that will give you a meaningless identity to your peers. Use your mobile device to read a book whilst waiting for your kids at their out of school club. Use it to listen to a podcast about something you are interested in. These hacks of time are essential to doing what you want to do whilst living life which can be hectic at times. Please though, don’t waste your valuable time on pointless, time wasting stuff, and if there are people around you to talk to, talk to them!
Learn about yourself to be happy
The only way you will be truly happy is to learn about yourself and what makes you tick. Get out there, try things, fail at things, read books, get outdoors, speak to people, learn from people, do something exciting, do something that scares you, develop yourself and help others do the same. Fear is something that stops us from doing all sorts of things. The more we fear something, the more we avoid it. I think most youngsters fear what people think of them, hence they paint a picture of happiness on social media. Don’t let fear stop you from being who you are and don’t let it stop you from the practising the basic skill of communication by hiding behind your phone.
What are your thoughts on this era of communication?
Some might read this post and think I’m mad. Some might read it and think they are actually happy. What are your thoughts on this? Do you or your kids have an unhealthy relationship with technology? How do you manage it? How do you feel about it all? It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks, Andy.