I had a rude awakening the other day. One of my coaches quit the other day. Two of them actually. I thought we communicated. We didn’t. We texted and as a result, a long standing relationship broke. It broke abruptly after many frustrated texts. I attempted to have a heart to heart, but the coach made a break before we could talk and so did the other. It was easier to leave than have a conversation.
Texting is how we communicate. We don’t pick up the phone, we don’t talk, we don’t meet. When we do, the phone is there, ready to interrupt us. We get a text and we can ignore it. We can not respond and let the other person “have the last word”, but really what happens is a break in dialogue an end of discussion. We can say “ok” and not feel ok and that is a lie and lies have consequences. We then act the same way when we are in presence of people. We hold things in, we send verbal messages but we don’t talk, not really.
This is the tragedy of our constant text conversations. They are not actual connections.
I’ve gone through some old threads with people and I don’t remember at all the things we said. I see responses that miss the questions and complete misunderstanding of what the other person said. We are doing other things as we text, we skip screens, respond when we want to.
We have messenger, Slack, WhatsAp, Instagram, LinkedIn and email. But while information is communicated, the feelings are not. The true message is lost and with it, so are relationships.
People wonder why people have fewer friends than before. People are mired in acquaintances, they are mired in connections and as a result there is less time for true friendships. True friendships have conflict, true friendships have fights that result in hashing things out. But I have numerous friends who simply stopped talking to me for reasons unknown and all attempts to find out go unanswered.
This is the tragedy of our communications. The agree to disagree. And texting only adds to the problem it makes this miscommunication and non-communication easier.
So how do we fix it? We first recognize that it is important to keep relationships. We recognize that conflict is ok and necessary for relationships. We recognize that texting isn’t communication and we find a way to talk and listen to each other.
This is very very difficult. Especially after years of texting and developing this faulty way of communicating. But the road from obesity isn’t easy, and neither is the road from drug or alcohol addiction. We have an obsession with easy and no conflict, and we have to break that obsession and learn to have tough talks again, learn to disagree and find agreement again. We have to learn to respect each other to fight with each other, not to the end of relationships but to keep them.