Sunday, August 03, 2008

One Way Communication

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A little over two weeks ago I wrote a blog entry about one way communication: http://hpgarland.blogspot.com/2008/07/speaker-phones.html

Today the Sunday New York Times had a good article on the increasing popularity of various forms of this one way communication.

Their article talked about how some people are now using e-mail, text messaging, and voice mail in order to avoid phone conversations. To these people “it becomes about saying things - just blathering on.” The New York Times article calls these people digital-era solipsists who are more interested in broadcasting information than in the real time give-and-take of a genuine two way conversation.

They went on to say that telephone communiqu├ęs are seen as requiring a sacrifice of time and energy and a higher level of commitment on the part of the communicator.

I looked up the word solipsist and one of the definitions is extreme egotism.

These people avoid phone conversations as a waste of time. “A phone conversation is like wildfire - you don’t know where it is going to go.” So they prefer to leave a voice mail message.

One of the people interviewed for the article admitted that these technologies encourage a not-so-valiant character trait. “It does make you more cowardly,” he said.

I guess this is why I find talking to a telephone message recorder so offensive. I called because I wanted to have honest two way communication. Not just one party talking AT the other. But both parties really listening while the other one talks. Then thinking about what the other one has said before responding. And not rudely interrupting either.

I guess I’m tilting at windmills again.
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