Finally I have an internet connection, although a year ago I did not due to the snow that had fallen crisply overnight!
Over the last few weeks communication has been an idea explored at many levels and what really prompted me to put this into words was an event today where someone had been told a completely false recount of events through a status update being misread and misinterpreted – the result was actually no the person was not dead, and even then they did not believe it until the person appeared at the meeting! The celebrity Neil Buchannan from Art Attack having had a similar experience, learning of his own death via Twitter!
How many of us live by our Twitter, Facebook, blog, texts and more? How many of us have become reliant on it? I know I often hear myself saying oh yes I saw it on the news update on Twitter, hours before it even reached the television news screens. How many of us rely on this form of communication and connected to that, the feedback generated from others? Back in the Spring I gave up my Facebook for 3 months, I did not even miss it. However, the first glint of a moan or groan and the NEED to share disgruntlement and frustration, out comes the Facebook and tap tap tap a status update is born to inform the masses.
So why do so many of us do this? What did we do before? And what can we learn from this?
Many of us do this in order to share, to gain sympathy or even to just reach out and know that there is someone out there taking notice of us. Desperation? no. Act of loneliness? maybe. Being human? yes. Many people revel in the woes and tales of others, messages will flood in, jumping on the bandwagon and adding fuel to the fire of discontent. Almost like emotional vampires (thank you CB for alerting me to these), they then glean every detail, relay and relate it to their own experiences that were of course FAR worse and then make you feel even worse.
You will then enjoy the relay of your woes from others whom read or heard it from their cousin 6 times removed who is now a hermit in outer Mongolia, ‘oh yes, I heard about what happened on Facebook.’ You then enjoy a totally different recount with as much hyperbole as is possible and the Chinese whisper is suddenly a saga of woe and tragedy.
But why? Is it because they have nothing better to do, is it because they care, in all honesty who knows as everybody has their own model and map of the world. The curiosity is, the pack mentality. In a world where we are our own entire person with choices, it is interesting to observe that when it comes to communication the majority follow pack rules by pouncing on the very word that something bad has happened and they then feel obliged to spread the word via any form of communication. For users of Facebook, how many comments do you get on a positive update, compared to a bad status update? How many times do we see a happy status update? Throwing it out there to the larger audience, how often is the news bulletin happy, featuring positive events? SO is this where we get the mentality for communication from? Is this what we subconsciously see communication as a purpose for, to relay bad news? Just a thought.
So what did we do before the electronic age? How did we do this before the advent of Twitter and Facebook? It’s okay we have the mobile. Yes ..... but after the 20th call directly to the automated voicemail server– we are left pondering, does the person even have their phone with them, will they ever get the message I left, has the message been deleted, do they have credit to check the message, do they know I even tried? Okay, how about old fashioned landline, who uses that! How about a letter? Where I live it can take up to 3 weeks for a normal letter to travel from a neighbouring village! Oh my goodness I know what we used to do, we used to meet with the person and, TALK!!!!! Face to face! A scene from Austen’s Persuasion came to mind at this archaic vision, perambulating around a pump house or garden, talking with friends and sharing the news; albeit concerning Viscountess Dalrymple, William Elliot had read about it in the morning newspaper when conversing with Anne Elliot.
The most dangerous part of all of this is without face to face communication, how can the tweets and status updates be understood, how can the real meaning be fully appreciated as it was intended??? How many times will they be mis-interpreted and twisted, then the problems that can then arise from this! For Austen followers, before I get shouted at, yes it can be argued Anne listened to Lady Russell and did not act on her own choices, but what if she had met face to face with Captain Frederick Wentworth at the time? Now there is a thought! For non followers, Anne was ‘Persuaded’ by friends not to follow her heart as her love interest Wentworth had no money at the time and was therefore not a good match. You can imagine the tweets, updates and texts now!
In NLP and hypnotherapy the clear intent of what is said is important to us as it helps the brain achieve the outcome we desire. So imagine a client wanted to stop smoking and we worked with the idea 'stop smoking.' The brain like a computer then has the status update, 'stop smoking' put in. How does the brain then know when to stop, how to stop, or when by? Is it tomorrow, next year, next millenium, is it stopping smoking cigarettes, smoking fish or having bonfires!!! Sounds silly, but how does the brain know? The status update needs to not only have purpose, it now needs to look at specifics.
Communication, face-to-face, specific and to the point, not vague one liners, you can’t beat it. So when was the last time you did it? When was the last time you met physically with a friend and talked properly giving them an update and catching up? When was the last time you put a positive update or tweet on your social media accounts?
Do it now!
See what response you get. For those of a mischievous nature, put an ambiguous status and see how many jump on the bandwagon of doom and gloom – it is quite interesting to watch it unravel x