Communication is a lost art in the digital age

I particularly think that the above title is very true considering the place that we are in right now as far as our ability to communicate not only at home but around the world too. Never has there been more ways in which we can voice our opinion than through the variety of ways that social media and other digital enhancements have given us in the last several years. Why you can Tweet, Facebook-it, Pin it on Pinterest, post it on a WordPress blog, store it in Evernote, text it, send it via email, put a letter in the mail, and, of course, the old standby, the telephone.

Why then do we still as a society have such a problem in getting our ideas across in a timely manner? I mean it’s unbelievable to me how many times in my life that I haven’t adequately received the intended message even though there are all of these ways in which to forward it out to the masses.

The place where this really gets me going the most is through my work. You would think that librarians would be more in tune with how to communicate amongst each other considering that we have to be on the threshold of all the latest technologies on the horizon. We are expected to be on the cutting edge of most every new digital piece of media that comes knocking on our doors on a consistent basis and then we are also expected to be able to take that same information and put it back out to our customers in an easily identifiable manner.

I can tell you from experience that it’s not easy to do at all. For some of us over 40, it seems to get harder every day. Why, you may ask? Well, because those of us starting down the path to an older realm would like to think that there is more to life than being permanently attached to a piece of digital equipment every waking moment of our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my iPhone but I don’t have to have it turned on constantly. I am not going to spontaneously combust if I miss one news story or one message.

Besides, the truth of the matter is that even if I did leave the thing turned on all the time it still wouldn’t matter. That is the point of this whole blog. We can have all the tech gadgets in the world and a myriad number of ways to connect and yet we don’t know how to correctly. What I mean by this is that even though we may have the ways to connect, it still takes a human to push the buttons, text the message, pick up the phone, etc. in order to get the message out to others. If we as humans don’t do this, then no matter what type of gadget we may have, it still is not going to get to the parties that need it the most.

I often wonder how hard it really is to send a short email to let others know at your workplace that something is going to be happening at a particular time on a particular date especially if your desk is the main one that the public is going to encounter when they first enter the building. Wouldn’t it make sense that your front line staff knows what is going on so that they can deliver that message accurately to the public. You would certainly think so but sad to say it doesn’t always happen this way.

This is why I get so frustrated. I am a big believer in communication and it really gets my goat that with all the ways that we have to communicate we still usually foul-it-up. I think I know one of the reasons why that is and that would be that some people just don’t care to spread the word. They think that you should be able to magically read their minds and just know that something is about to happen. They would be wrong. I am the worst mind-reader in the world and that argument doesn’t really fly with me.

I’m sure that there are a number of other reasons why that people don’t tend to communicate well with others but that’s another blog for another day. For right now, I intend to keep up the good fight with trying to make sure that others communicate the message properly so that there isn’t frustration on the other end, whether it be at work or at home.

Yes, communication is a lost art but we need to be careful and not let it go too far…or we may miss out on some of the best that life has to offer.


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