The culture of pseudo-communication

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Even more annoying than the oblivious herd of college students taking up the hallway is the lone student, walking as slow as molasses, neck craned down to stare at her phone and text. Or Facebook, or Instagraming a picture of her feet.

It’s more annoying because at least those large clogs of students are actually talking to each other.

If it’s true that over 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, we are in trouble. According to recent studies, we are getting three times less information through texting than face-to-face conversation.

When we get a text, we read it with the logical part of our brain, taking everything more seriously than we would otherwise. We can’t hear the other person’s tone, so we interpret the message with our own. We fill in the blanks. That’s a problem.

I’ve been known to stew over a text, thinking “What does that mean?!” It probably didn’t mean anything. Oh, my female overactive imagination.

Modern technology has greatly improved life for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for texting, Face Time, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It’s easy, but it is not a substitute for face-to-face time. Time spent in the same space is irreplaceable.

I am not my Facebook.

Let’s relate this to the Love Languages. My language is quality time followed closely by touch—both difficult to have via text message.

When I care about someone I want to share space and maybe get in a hug or two. I feel secure and loved when I get those things.

Most of the love languages are communication and face-to-face based. Acts of service doesn’t work too well without real, vocal communication.

Maybe words of affirmation could be argued, but you bet your bottom dollar it means a whole lot more said verbally than via a text or Facebook post.

My mother is a words of affirmation/acts of service love language. I try to talk to her over the phone multiple times a week and tell her how much she means to me and spend time talking with her in person as much as I can.

One of my best friends is a quality-time love language girl and she hates the phone. So, I try to spend time talking to her face-to-face, even just about silly things.

That keeps those relationships healthy.

How about we stop using technology as a crutch and start using it to enhance the relationships we already have?

Instead of texting someone, call. Be in the same space as much as possible. It may feel like a sacrifice or hassle, but I promise you it will revive relationships, give the other person a sense of security and make you both happier.


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