Reclaiming Conversation- The Next Frontier: Transforming A Culture of Distraction to A Culture of Engagement
The internet is still in the very early days. Not that long ago, we were trying to figure out how to keep computers busy.
Now, they keep us busy. We are the computers’ “killer apps” We text each other at family dinners, funerals, and while jogging or driving. We sleep with our cell phones (and not just as an alarm clock). When we are away from our phones, we become anxious.
Mobile connectivity allows us to bail out of the “physical real” at any time. It gives us the ability to hide from each other even as we are connected to each other.
Connectivity allows us the illusion of companionship without genuine connection. We would rather text than talk. Are we losing our ability to communicate? *
I share, therefore, I AM
One of the original intents of social networking was to introduce a new economic model- “open source”. . and an option to “start a movement” by sharing information, resources, thoughts, and feelings.
Studies now show, the more time we spend on-line, the more time we keep a lot of things to ourselves. We share what’s easiest to share- we share what makes us look good .. NOT the whole human. By not admitting failures, showing flaws and vulnerabilities, we cut off opportunity for conversation and dialog. We cut ourselves off from our basic human needs and we truncate the needs of others. Sadly, by NOT engaging in radically honest, compassionate communication, we are losing the skill of sharing our hearts.
So how do we change this trajectory?
- Increase your UNCONNECTIVITY time with your phone or PC.
- RESTART CONVERSATIONS: Replace e-mail and texting with increased in-person and phone conversations.
- ENGAGE in GROUPS that meet in person: Women’s & Men’s circles, Book Clubs, Toastmasters, NVC Groups , The World Cafe, Meet-Ups, and Personal Development Seminars (like Landmark) that encourage dialog and the sharing of our human vulnerabilities.
- Encourage your company or organization to increase offerings in Leadership Development & Communication Training that includes:
- Active/reflective/empathic listening
- Techniques for Giving and Receiving Feedback
- Creating a culture of Trust and Engagement
The results will be deeper personal peace and fulfillment, more sustainable and meaningful connections leading to a culture of TRUST in your community, organization, and workplace.
* Thank you Sherry Turkle for your influence