Communication Is Key


It is just a simple word. However, as simple as this word may sound, it is of vital importance in this world. Always has been. Animals do it. In nature, Homo Sapiens is a ‘higher mammel’, an animal that also uses communication. Verbally, non-verbally. Communication is not just ‘sending’, it is also ‘receiving’. It is talking but also listening. Communication is key.


If you only talk and do not listen, problems will definitely loom at the horizon. If you only listen but do not talk, nobody will know what your thoughts are. All this is food for misinterpretations, misconceptions and ignorance. Everyone has thoughts, opinions and emotions, and is entitled to that. Everyone deserves to be heard, or to stay silent by choice.


What strikes me on all levels, be it in general out there, on the job or in private life, is that communication these days is under a lot of pressure. Today, the World is at our feet. Internet and the mass media took care of that. It is very easy to communicate around the Globe. However, it seems that many folks bury themselves in their own little comfort zone now.


Who has not noticed that bunch of friends having dinner in a nice restaurant? Six out of ten are glued to their smart phone screens while sitting next to each other. It is communication, yes. But in a very empty way, while real folks of flesh and blood are seated next to you. After dessert, they go home. And go do the same thing all over again. To me this is a bad thing.


A whole generation of cell phone and computer drones is growing up, without seeing the World around them. I am writing this on Facebook, the epitomy of social media on the digital highway, on a laptop computer. So call me a hypocrite. But believe you me, I interact with real people in the real world too. It is all about balance. I believe that I found that balance.


I have a great bunch of family, friends, neighbours and co-workers around me. Via the digital highway, I am reaching out to other people. Because I am genuinely interested in Mankind. I have made some great friends there, and some I have met in the flesh afterwards. They are a real treasure to me, just like anyone else in my direct environment. They have become ‘real’.


Facebook posts, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, SMS, all of them have their limitations in terms of communication. It is very hard to determine true sentiments through them, despite all kinds of mood-displaying emoticons and stickers. Nothing goes above looking into some real eyes and hearing a real voice. It provides a lot more information.


When someone stays silent while standing in front of you, you may be able to discern an emotion, interpret that and react to it. That is impossible in the digital world. False images are easily generated. False conclusions can easily be drawn from the other one not reacting on a message or staying silent alltogether. When going digital, communication is even more key.


I have made my fair share of mistakes while digitally communicating. I have drawn wrong conclusions. Built wrong images. Transmitted wrong signals. And when I have been proven wrong, I feel just as shitty as in the real world.  I do not want that. To me, my human interactions on the Net are just as important as they are in the real world. Just so you know.