Do you realize we are doing less talking and also listening less? It is not a joke but a reality! We have allowed artificial surrogates to rip the essential fabric that united us and kept a healthy flow of communication, an essential tenet of the communal structure.
When was the last time that you sat down to have an uninterrupted dialogue with your teen, spouse or even a friend maintaining eye contact and enjoying a healthy debate? Let’s be honest, more often than not we have all been guilty of you slipping out of conversation to check a notification that just landed on our smartphone. This is now the new “norm” of our social structure and life.
Parents are in a dilemma over finding ways to wean their children off the devices and to engage them in a “traditional chat” that we used to enjoy in our recent past.
Two Ends Of A Chain:
You will agree that conversation is a skill and listening is an art, comprising two ends of a chain that binds us into stronger relationships.
This principle may even apply to stage artists, when the audience may feel better connected with one who is looking into their eyes than one who sings to the microphone; making or breaking even the very best of performances.
Not too long ago when Covid stormed our planet and created a new world order, social distancing and isolation became the order of the day and overnight our club members switched to virtual sessions on Zoom. These sessions, while more easy to access, lack the charm of live jamming sessions with the full focus of the audience. Many will shut their videos and mute their microphones while they attend to a text or call once again on their smart devices! This format lacks the instant gratification that performers yearn for from the energizing responses and eye contact of live audiences.
Although we are now in a post pandemic phase, we are soon becoming a transformed species that prefers to hide behind the “virtual space” in the coziness of one’s home to become both passive performers and a passive audience.
People have acquired a stronger addiction to digital technologies causing statistically significant numbers of introverts who eventually become isolated, lonely and are victims of a deep depression.
Shocking results of several studies point to higher rates of suicides among teens who too, in isolation, got hooked to their devices and prefer to be “left alone.”
Overall there is a definite decrease in interaction with family or even friends. The inbred emotional fragility that results from such behavior, leads to either an elevation or complete dampening of one’s mood when receiving feedback, especially if the latter bears even the slightest of a disapproving remark.
We have to re-learn some of the old and some new skills that can win back the attention of our young ones as well as other important people to engage in an invigorating dialogue:
I have a few tips to help our younger victims, but would appreciate your contributions too:
- Give your conversational partner a full understanding of his/her background
- Listen to them attentively
- Ask open-ended questions to dig deeper into the mindset of others
- Better listening would certainly make your response effective
- Don’t use over powering tones
- When you maintain eye contact and give focused listening you win them over and they will want to talk to you more
- Sometimes you have to cope with rudeness but stay calm. Taking deep breaths suppresses build-up of angry responses .
I am sure there are many more tips so let us keep it going here, please add your contribution in the comments