As you might imagine, I work at home. I sit in front of my computer, often in my robe, and type…all day long. Once in while, a few days will pass when I’ve not spoken to anyone outside my immediate family. Sure, I email and text friends and fellow committee members and so on. I say hi to the checkout lady at the grocery store. But real conversation? *crickets*
This realization troubled me. Somehow I’d ended up replacing genuine friendly interaction with virtual discourse on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and email. In response to this rather scary recognition, I recently resolved to pick up the phone a few times (instead of simply sending a question via text or email). Each time, my simple question turned into a ten or fifteen minute call during which I caught up, laughed a little, and even made future plans to get together (whether for lunch, a morning walk, or couples plans for the weekend).
As adults and parents, we worry about how technology is adversely impacting our kids and their communications skills. A quick Google search will yield dozens of articles on that topic alone. But we somehow forget to consider how this technology is negatively affecting our friendships.
So much is lost through email and texts thanks to a lack of non-verbal cues and tonality. Miscommunications based on these deficiencies can even inadvertently create problems in friendships.
I’m not advocating we stop using technology, or that the ability to quickly deliver a lot of information to many people at once isn’t helpful when coordinating a group plan. But, just for kicks, pick up the phone next time you want to ask a friend a question. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the enjoyment you’ll get despite the “inefficiency” of the method!