Signing In, But Tuning Out?

At the beginning of this week, my editor was talking about all the ways people today can connect to each other – with cell phone calls and text messages, on the Internet, through Facebook and Twitter, etc. He then said something that still has me thinking about how there are “so many new ways to communicate, but nobody listens.”

I may have not gotten the words down correctly, but I think I got the idea right.  I know that I’m personally always signing into something, texting someone, checking updates on Facebook and Twitter in order to keep in touch with my friends and relatives. But even though we may all be talking back and forth, do we lose something in the translation? I’m not going to bash the new media here. I personally love social networking and all the things you can now do with your cell phones. But I have to say that in many instances, I may prefer texting, emailing and Facebook updates to in-person conversations and meetings.

I think one of the reasons that I like communicating through Facebook and text messaging, for example, is that you can present to people what you like and hide what you don’t like.  You’re feeling tired and down?  No one has to know if you quote a line from a movie.  Not in the mood to go out?  Send a quick text message and you’re off the hook for a detailed explanation. Or perhaps you’re curious as to how your cousin or former co-worker is doing, but it’s too early in the morning or too late at night to call. Just check their Facebook page.

In a way, my editor was right.  There are so many ways to communicate, but  with them, we may feel connected, but in reality (and not the one on your screen), be out of tune with what is really going on.


One thought on “Signing In, But Tuning Out?”

  1. Check out Cat Greenleaf’s website
    She has started a program called Look Up Stop Texting. A challenging idea in a world that floods us with messages and information. If we don’t pause once in a while to listen, absorb and respond then it’s all just chatter and background noise. My favorite FB/email/text friends are the ones I have an ongoing dialogue with, and value their comments and ideas. What makes it special is that I don’t get to see them regularly because of geography or careers, etc. Yet we can stay in touch by the written (not spoken and not printed) word.


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