@ecotrain has an interesting question for this week and I'd like to share my opinion in this post. The question is: What can we do differently so that people can understand us better?
Life has changed so much since I was a little kid and not necessarily in a good way. Obviously development is ongoing and there are so many good things that can make life better but can also make it much more worse. Quality of life partly depends on us, we're responsible of what quality of life we create for ourselves. Our relation with the outside world, with people depends on us and there are a few things we can do better, as there's always room for improvement, isn't it?
Communication is key in life, we can't live without communicating with other human beings. That's how we are built, created. Lack of communication can damage you for life, that's why total isolation is used as a severe form of punishment in prisons, when they want to destroy a person for life.
Communication nowadays is very different from what it was decades ago, can happen in many ways as technology is helping us. This is good as you can sit at home and communicate with people from all over the world. What can be more exciting, right? However, it has major negative effects, even though we don't want to see it.
Quality of Communication
Today you can communicate with people face to face, on the phone, online via internet, using different platforms and/or services. As I said before, it's the fastest way and the easiest, when you want to communicate with people that you can't meet due to the existing distance between you.
The problem is sometimes this form of communication is used to communicate with others, close to us. As strange as it seems, this would not be a problem if it would happen occasionally, in extreme cases when you have no other choice and time of of the essence.
Unfortunately people got lazy and use internet to communicate with close friends in the city on a daily bases, it happens all the time and changes your life without you realizing it. Let me give you an example.
You wake up and what is the first thing you do? You reach out for your smartphone and check different social media platforms to see who has posted what. This way you can stay informed, you can find out what's happened with your friends, relatives etc. You see a photo (them in a restaurant for example), you give them a like, letting them know you've seen the photo. Sometimes drop a comment, that can be relevant, meaningful, or not. Obviously this is just superficial as you can't discuss private things online as everything is public and even though you can restrict the circle of people who can see your content, you can't fully trust any platform.
You do the same obviously, upload photos and write short messages about your daily life to let people know what is going on with you and also for not missing out as they say if you're not on social media platforms, you don't exist. So you get some likes, some comments as well and life goes on.
When someone asks you if you know anything about X, you say of course, as they did this and said that. In fact you only know what they were willing to share online but in fact you haven't really spoken to them in weeks or months, and you don't even realize how much time has passed since you last met them.
Imagine what kind of communication can go on online vs real life communication, during face to face meetings. I don't think the two can be compared.
The other thing that worth mentioning here is how we communicate online. Due to limited space and speed, many choose to use abridgments, sometimes taking it to extremes. Look at the chat rooms. It's full of texts that only some understand. Words that are not even in the dictionary, abridgments, emojis, gifs, you name it. In some cases that's everything but communication. Many of those people can't even write properly, if you give them a pen and paper, they find themselves in a great difficulty. This is a huge relapse in evolution but no one cares.
What Can We Do Differently Do That People Can Understand Us Better
When you see a photo posted online and a sentence that could mean a lot of things, you think what you think, which is obviously your interpretation of what's on the photo combined with the message posted by the user. That doesn't mean you're right. You may be wrong. The problem starts when you take your interpretation for real and base your own actions on that. Misunderstandings happen all the time even when you are face to face with someone, let alone on a social platform, when you don't hear the voice of the other user, you can only read what they share, sometimes full of typos or in a coded language not many can understand.
Being in contact with people in real life can never be replaced with interacting with them throughout some app, even if it's a video call. You do that if you're conversing with someone who's far away, but if you have the possibility to meet people, don't swap that with a video chat.
Lockdown did a lot of harm as far as socializing is concerned. It has been proven that no matter what medium you use to communicate with your loved once, the most effective way is a face to face meeting. Many people have suffered major setbacks in their mental health treatment because they could not meet with their loved ones.
There should be a balance between real and virtual life. That balance is missing in so many cases, and what is alarming, the young generation is addicted to online presence. This is very damaging to their personality but they refuse to see that.
Another thing we can do so people can understand us better is to be more patient. Anger is never a good and can lead you nowhere. Giving people the possibility to understand us or to explain themselves is important. Jumping to conclusion based on what we think will do nothing good.
Every person id different, you can't find two of a kind, thus you need different approach in every case. You just have to have the patience to see things through and try to repair instead of destroy.
It's easier said than done, I know that but I believe if we pay attention to people and value them, we owe us and them as much to try to be better.