Digi Domi

Sharing my passion for technology and learning.

Impersonal, it’s a matter of perspective.

on May 30, 2013

So I am in a training session today, actually I have to go back there in about half an hour. But earlier there was a discussion that made my blood temperature rise just a few degrees. I think it is a subject I have touched on before, the disengaged, impersonal youth. There was a discussion about how now days everyone is texting or emailing and this one guy had to beg his kids to get on the phone because no-one really talks to anyone any more.

This is totally a matter of perspective.

As my blood temperature raised at the irritation of this old cliché that ‘now days everyone sucks’, I had a moment of clarity. I realised why I thought this. It is because often I think talking on the phone can be less personal than sending a text. Before you call me crazy, let me explain. Often we are out in busy public situations, maybe on public transport or in a coffee shop (tax paying or otherwise) and so any phone conversation we have can be overheard by any number of people. For this reason I often find (and my family will testify to this) that I become very closed off on the phone. Everything is reduced to short ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘u-huh’, ut-uh’ ‘If you want’ type answers, basically brief and non-de script. This is I realise, is for two reasons. Partly because I could be over heard, and also because I don’t want to be the Don Jolly character, shouting on the phone and disturbing everyone else. It may not be that I have anything particularly private to say on the phone, my life is not the episode of Jeremy Kyle some of my public transport co-users seem to have. But even just arranging dinner, I don’t necessarily want everyone on the train to know I’m having tofu hotdogs (or hotcats as I call them – cats are cooler than dogs and tofu is cooler than donkey lips).

Therefore if I text then I can be a lot more personal in what I say, and tend to be more forth coming with  my opinions about adding a topping  or side to the aforementioned hotcat. I guess even as I’m writing this I realise that there is also an element of being self conscious about my voice. I’m not a major fan of my own voice, certainly recordings do not match what I hear in my head. Whereas I can deal with this in person, and I use a lot of gestures when talking which detract the focus from my voice, on the phone it is isolated. All the person on the other end has is my voice, and if that isn’t something I’m comfortable then it’s like going on a date when all they can see if my stomach…I’m going to feel uncomfortable with the focus on such an area.

To conclude then, youth are not necessarily getting worse at communicating, it is more than our environment is changing and some people become aware and self conscious about this. Then the more you get used to a particular form of communication, the more awkward any other form will seem.

(I also like the paper trail that texts and emails produce)


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